Last week, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced changes made to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy documents back in August, using blunt and straightforward language: Basically if you have an account on Facebook, you are giving it free rein to use your content – posts, activities, profile information, anything– for advertising purposes.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has faced the charges of concerned parents and various advocacy groups. And while their petitions were heard and examined by the Federal Trade Commission, not much has changed in the final draft of the legal documents. This latest change comes less than a year from its last update, signalling significant pushback by users and parents. But all these changes any better?
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will be able to use your posts as advertisement. Anything from liking a page to checking into a place, your friends will be able to see your activity alongside an advertisement for that particular activity. For example, we can like a new clothing company page and as soon as we do that all our friends will see that activity and receive ads about the clothing company we liked.
Don’t panic. You can opt out of the whole thing, which Facebook is calling “Social Advertising.”
Profile pictures will now be used to improve Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s tag-suggest feature, and the more you use the function, the more it will recognize you and your friends’ faces better. According to the company, this feature is not meant to be stalker-creepy, but rather about “increasing your control and awareness of information about you.” It always gives the option to opt out of these settings if you go to your timeline and tagging page. Some countries, including the entire European Union, don’t have this new function.
Remember that there was a sentence that stated that people under 18 are assumed to be parentally allowed on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)? Well, now that phrase is gone from the policies. The company explains that this phrase has always been about “getting a conversation started” between parent and child. Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer for policy, stated, “We were not seeking and would not have gained any additional rights as a result of this addition. We received feedback, though, that the language was confusing and so we removed the sentence.”
In conclusion, these new updates are the result of a class-action lawsuit settlement. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has declared that they are also working in new ways of users to control their information. Such as being able to see if their information has been used in recent ads, but they said that it would take time and offered no timeline for the development of better tools for users. For now, we have to be very careful and read the privacy settings all the way.