Facebook privacy policy is now a data-use policy

Facebook has recently edited its privacy policy which looks like it wants to expand it’s ad revenue platform through ads on third-party websites. “You follow me and I follow you everywhere you go” is the order of the day with this data policy change. All of us know that the ads presented on the Facebook platform are based on your personal information. You have a choice. Delete your profile (see bootnote) or accept that your data will be rented/sold.

The current IPO offering is fuelling Facebook’s desire to monetize it’s user base. The ads it currently delivers are restricted to Facebook, but it does look like they are wanting to distribute ads to sell to third-party websites. Third-party ad selling will certainly broaden its reach as well as appease investors and potential shareholders.

The most interesting aspect of the policy change has to be the fact they are no longer referring to ‘privacy policy’ – they now call it a ‘data-use-policy’.  This probably is more accurate, and most businesses I believe should follow suit here. So, what about any major data-use changes? The length of time Facebook stores your personal data has changed. Facebook can now hold your personal data for 180 days and it can also retain all types of data for “as long as necessary”. Will people really care about this change and any other on the privacy policy? Right now, no. In time yes. If you want to control your data, I suggest you use Facebook Timeline.

On a positive note Facebook does reach out to members on policy changes i.e. we all get a 7 day comment period. If any change receives more than 7,000 comments it is then put to a vote by Facebook users. if a comment receives 30% of the votes supporting it from Facebook’s “active” users, it will go into effect. You need to read between the lines on this statement – it’s all about interpretation. This actually means if fewer than 70% “dislike” the comment, it will go into effect.

Safe surfing folks!

Bootnote: If you have removed a Facebook app and want to delete the data you’ve already shared with them, you will need to contact the app developers and ask them to delete it. This also applies to users’ friends as well.

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