With this revision, META does not collect, use, share or sell your data in new ways based on this policy update. Instead, this update modifies the language and adds examples to help people understand what each part is about.
“The promise that this policy will not share data in new ways looks good,” said John Davison, senior advisor to the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The problem, however, is that Facebook funnels user data on an industrial scale into an ecosystem of large-scale targeted advertising. As a result, the status quo is not good for privacy.
Meta has made initiatives about making its policies simpler and easier to read more than once over the past few years (in 2014 and 2018, for example).
The new update appears to be the best yet. But as much as it helps people understand what they agree with, it may help Meta more.
Including examples helps prevent misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the rules, such as the Instagram Terms of Service update in 2012, when people thought the service might suddenly start selling everyone’s photos.
“It is unrealistic to think that Facebook users can understand what they are agreeing to in a 9,000-word agreement,” he said. Including dozens of nested menus covering different settings and scenarios.
By comparing the old policy with the new policy, the company’s statements that it will not collect data in new ways is correct. However, the company’s activity relies heavily on the sale of user data for the purpose of advertising.
An internal document from the Facebook advertising team revealed earlier this year that even the company’s engineers have no idea how to manage user data in a way that protects it. Facebook employees also called the platform’s database Open Borders.
The new policy applies to Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other Meta products. But it does not apply to WhatsApp, Messenger Kids, Workplace, or Quest devices used without a Facebook account. These devices have their own privacy policies.
Information about the policies of non-users who may be concerned about their information being collected is included in shadow profiles.
Meta is also rolling out new audience controls across Facebook, which change who can see your posts.
The tool is used by default for whatever audience setting you’ve been using recently, whether it’s public, friends, just me, or a custom group of people you’re showing or hiding the post from.
But whatever you default to in your settings now, the new controls are there from the start for every new post you write, even if you used something else in the previous post.