Facebook Proposes Updates to Key Policy Documents
Governing User Data
Facebook almost completely rewrote its advertising policy page, making it abundantly clear that anything users upload publicly on Facebook can be used as data to target ads. By registering for Facebook, the rules now read, “You give [Facebook] permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content.” However, Facebook said that if you selected a particular audience to see your content, they will “respect” your choice.
In another somewhat sinister though unsurprising rule change, Facebook now also claims the right in its data usage rules to know what kind of device you’re using to access the site. In the proposed update, Facebook also made it explicitly clear that they have retained the right to find and use your geo-location data, meaning the site can use your physical location to target advertising.
The policy changes also made it clear that any data you give to third party applications will remain in their hands in perpetuity, even if you get rid of the app. While many people assume that Facebook controls user data with apps, the apps in question actually receive a copy of your data information and keep it on file forever unless users specifically request that they delete it.
This news is sure to cause a huge ripple in the tech and privacy communities, and its impact is just beginning to be felt. However, much of the new policy language reflects practices that Facebook already implements. The real surprise is seeing all of the rules in black and white language.