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Facebook and its new data policy

Facebook has been a hot topic in 2018, and it is time to reflect to its newest data policy changes in connection with their recent scandals. At the end of April, Facebook released new data policies regarding its users’ private information.

Due to “complaints of several users” the company decided to make changes by creating a new privacy guide to go along with an updated data collection policy where information on what is collected about a certain user is easier to find for the individuals.

The decision is just in time to prelude to new European Union rules, the GDPR that take effect on May 25. GDPR requires companies to add more privacy controls to the data they handle about their clients, and they must also clearly disclose how and why they collect user data. The changes will eventually affect all Facebook users regardless of location, but they will first roll out in Europe.

To align with the new policies, Facebook had to make some changes in communication about their data collecting habits. Here is what we know so far about the new Facebook data policy:

Facebook is quite a collector. It collects content from when you sign up when you upload or share content, and when you communicate with others on the site. Also, data is collected about you when others share something of you, or sync your contact info or message you. Theoretically, these data is only for internal use, but we have seen in the recent news what can happen if a third party starts to use them. Cambridge Analytica was just one example of how users’ data can be mishandled by third parties.

On Facebook your collected data is openly shared with advertisers, meaning that it uses your information internally to target ads for users. The company states that it only shares non-personal details and identifiers to their advertisers inside the Facebook advertising system.

With the GDPR involved more protection is given over personal data including religious orientation and beliefs, these will not be shared with advertisers, or there will be limitations introduced. Also, minors enjoy an extra protection regarding the usage of their personal data. Now Facebook will also need a parent or guardian’s permission to allow some features like seeing targeted ads.

However, some things don’t change: Facebook will still collect information but will prompt users globally on whether they want targeted ads or not. Therefore, regardless the new policy for most of the users, seeing advertisements on the platform won’t really change. Also, their interests will be recorded and the records will be available for Facebook to use. The thing that changes is that users will be more directly informed about what data is being collected and why is it necessary for Facebook to do so.


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