Facebook announced today that it has rewritten its terms of service and data policy.

The rewrites are intended to make the Facebook behemoth more transparent to users.

Basically, everyone else just discovered what Facebook has been doing with their data since 2013, when Facebook rolled out Partner Categories to advertisers, which used third-party data for ad targeting.

Now that they know, everyone's creeped out about advertisers targeting them based on their weird search behavior and shopping habits.

Backlash ensued. Facebook responded. And here we are today with new terms and policies.

Facebook assures everyone that:

"These updates are about making things clearer. We're not asking for new rights to collect, use or share your data on Facebook. We're also not changing any of the privacy choices you've made in the past."

Facebook hasn't updated its terms of service or data policy in three years, so they've gotta lotta splainin to do on things like:

  • New features, such as the fundraising option that's been around for a year

  • All the good stuff they get from your mobile phone

  • How they use your data

  • Information they share. Spoiler alert: they don't sell your information.

  • Advertising. Sorry, marketers, but Facebook won't share user information with us.

  • Company information: Facebook's the same company as Occulus and WhatsApp, and provides the Messenger and Instagram services. So ... news but not news.

  • And handling abusive behavior, to stop haters from hatin' on your page

Users have seven days to give feedback on the new terms and policy before the final versions are published. After that, Facebook will ask you to agree to the changes and your privacy choices.

By spelling out everything that they do as clearly as possible and allowing users to give feedback, Facebook lessens the creep factor and gains trust.

Published on: Apr 4, 2018
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