Meta updates its privacy policy and changes Facebook’s audience controls

As it does occasionally, the company formerly known as Facebook has produced a new revision to its terms of service and updated its privacy policy. Facebook’s old Data Policy is now Meta’s Privacy Policy, rewritten “for ease of understanding and to reflect the latest products we offer.”

With this revision, Meta “does not collect, use, or share your data in new ways based on this policy update and we still do not sell your information,” according to the company. Instead, this update changes the language and adds examples to help people understand what each segment is about.

After reading the new policy and comparing it to the old one, it seems to be holding up, for better or for worse. John Davisson, senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said in a comment to The edge that the promise that this policy will not share data in new ways sounds good, but “the problem is that Facebook is already funneling user data on an industrial scale into a large targeted advertising ecosystem. The status quo is therefore not good for privacy.

Meta has made overtures to make its policies simpler and easier to read more than once in the past few years (in 2014 and 2018, for example), and this layout may do the best job so far. , but as much as it helps people understand what they’re accepting – it may help Meta more. Including examples helps avoid the kinds of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the rules, such as the incident with Instagram’s Terms of Service update in 2012, when people thought the service would suddenly start selling everyone’s photos.

Facebook’s current data policy
Picture: Facebook

Arguing that “even the clearest privacy policy does not override enforceable privacy rights or legal limits on data processing,” Davisson called it simply “unrealistic” to think that Facebook users can understand what they accept in a 9,000-word agreement comprising dozens of nested menus covering different settings and scenarios.

The new policy applies to Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other Meta products, but not to WhatsApp, Workplace, Messenger Kids or Quest devices used without a Facebook account (these have their own privacy policies). Policy information for non-users who may be concerned that their information has been collected in “ghost profiles” is listed here.

Meta is also rolling out new Facebook audience controls that change who can see the posts you make. The tool used to default to the audience setting you most recently used, whether Public, Friends (+friends of anyone tagged), Me Only, or Selected custom of people you would show or hide the post to. Now whatever your default selection in your settings will be there first for every new message you post, even if you used something else on the previous one.

Notifications Facebook users will see about the new Terms of Service before they go into effect on July 26

Notifications Facebook users will see about the new Terms of Service before they go into effect on July 26
Image: Meta


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