Under legal pressure, Facebook clarifies how it uses your data
The clarifications come in response to a recent court ruling
IDG News Service - Facebook wants to be clear: It can use the names, profile pictures and other data of its members to deliver ads on the site.
On Thursday, the site announced a wide range of proposed updates to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, two key documents that explain how the social network collects and uses people's data. The update includes a revised explanation of how things like people's names, profile pictures and content may be used in connection with ads or commercial content.
With the updates, Facebook wants to make its policies more clear. And specifically, to make it clear "that you are granting Facebook permission for this [commercial] use when you use our services," said Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, policy, on the company's website.
"We hope this clarification helps you understand how we use your information in this way," she said.
The site will be gathering feedback over the next seven days on the proposed updates. Facebook, with more than 1 billion members, knows that its policies can trigger volatile reactions. "We will carefully consider feedback before adopting any changes," the company said.
Facebook is not issuing the clarifications purely for altruistic reasons. On Monday a U.S. judge approved a US$20 million fund for Facebook to settle a class-action lawsuit against the site's "sponsored stories" advertising program, which pairs some Facebook members' information with commercial content to deliver ads to people on the site.
Plaintiffs had claimed that their names and likenesses, such as their profile photos, were being misappropriated to promote advertisers' products and services.
As part of the ruling, Facebook was ordered to change its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to give users better information about, and control over, how their data is used in connection with sponsored stories.
In its revised Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Facebook says that by joining the site, "you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you."
If users have selected a specific audience for their content or information, Facebook will respect that choice, the company said.
Facebook also expects its users to understand that the company may not always identify paid services and communications as such, according to the document.
How children's data is used in connection with ads was one of the major issues in Monday's court ruling. In the revised document, Facebook hopes to circumvent future issues around minors by stating that, "If you are under the age of 18, or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to the terms of this section on your behalf."
Thursday's changes also include some information to clarify that Facebook's apps may be updated from time to time, and that although the site is free, users are still responsible for access fees like data charges and text messages.
- Marketers are losing faith in Facebook
- Facebook may lure teen users back with virtual reality promise
- Facebook's Oculus VR buy is about more than gaming
- Facebook spends $2B on virtual reality firm, but analysts are skeptical
- Facebook launches redesign with a bit of the old, a bit of the new
- Facebook eyes solar-powered drone company
- Facebook coughs up $19B for WhatsApp's younger users
- Facebook buying WhatsApp for $16 billion
- Facebook's birthday present: A look back at your social life
- At 10, Facebook strives not to be your granny's social network
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Social Media White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!