Social giant Facebook has refreshed its terms of service and its data policy to provide more transparency as to what kind of user data is collected and why, among other things, and has done so without adding in any additional data usage rights. The new documentation provides more information on newer features like Marketplace and Live, explains more about what user data is collected and how and why it is shared, and how Facebook plans to take care of the issue of abusive users across all of its various platforms, products, and services, along with a number of other new talking points. The language of the documentation has also been clarified, making it easier to understand exactly what’s being done with your personal data, why it’s being done, and how to stop it from happening.
Terms of service entries for Marketplace, fundraisers, Live, and 360 degree videos have been added, along with the new features being addressed in the data policy. Facebook has also updated the documentation to tell users more about why they’re shown certain ads, and the logic behind suggestions for pages, friends, and groups. The data policy has also been updated with more information about how Facebook figures out what ads to show you, and the fact, put quite plainly, is that Facebook does not surreptitiously share your information with advertisers under any circumstances. The new documentation also covers how Facebook uses features of your device, such as location, your camera, and your microphone. Finally, the new terms and data policy cover how Facebook plans to handle abuse going forward. The new policies are up for discussion for seven days, after which Facebook will officially publish them and ask all users to agree to them.
This move comes amid not only a general climate of privacy-mindedness among tech consumers, but a scandal directly within Facebook involving data collection company Cambridge Analytica. Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the massive data breach, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been called to testify in court about the scandal. Between his statements on the stand in the coming weeks and these new policies, just about all conceivable questions about how Facebook obtains, shares, and handles user data will likely be answered.