Facebook Updates Policies To Clarify For Users

Reeling from its latest data scandal, social media giant Facebook is taking steps to spell out in plain English how it gathers and uses the data of its users.

According to a report in Bloomberg, the social media giant is spelling out how it collects and uses data in its Terms of Service and Data Use Policy. The updated policy discusses not only how data is used on the Facebook site, but also how it is used across other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

“These updates are about making things clearer,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg. “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.”

Users have found Facebook’s policies confusing in the past, especially pertaining to apps the company owns. Facebook confirmed to Bloomberg that it does scan chats sent through Messenger to ensure they meet the terms of the service.

“Facebook is part of the same company as WhatsApp and Oculus, and we explain how we share services, infrastructure and information,” the company said in the statement. “We also make clear that Facebook is the corporate entity that provides the Messenger and Instagram services, which now all use the same data policy. Your experience isn’t changing with any of these products.”

Separately, TechCrunch reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to commit to implementing changes to Facebook to comply with the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In an interview with Reuters covered by TechCrunch, Zuckerberg reportedly said Facebook is working to bring some European privacy guarantees worldwide, but wouldn’t say which parts of the EU law.

“We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” Reuters quoted Zuckerberg as saying. TechCrunch noted that in the past, executives of the social media giant had implied that any changes made to comply with GDPR would be extended around the globe.


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