The social giant of the web Facebook updates the policies it use when collecting data from its more than 2 billion users who use it every month.
The Policy is cramped down to just over 4,000 words. But given by Facebook's size and its massive reach, the language used to make the terms easier to understand, is still difficult to understand. After putting strict rules on apps, updating its policy is how the social giant is putting more transparency about how it collects data.
And as part of the new policy which was released on April 19th 2018, the company is trying to spell the words out more clearly about how it collects users' information and how it uses that information.
The move comes following the Cambridge Analytica Scandal which scarred its face in front of the world.
Before this privacy update, the last time Facebook updated it was in 2016. Considering that 2 years is quite a long time in terms of internet year, Facebook is trying to be less overwhelming in how it pronounces itself.
First of all, Facebook does have people's political views. It can conclude this by gathering information, photos, videos, posts and others from users' activities. It also takes data from users' interactions with other Facebook friends, as well as Pages, Liked posts and comments.
For Facebook users on mobile, the social giant collects another 7 different types of information. And this includes data about the OS and the phone maker, information about devices that are connected to the same network, and the percentage of battery users have left.
With all those information, Facebook is doing what's called "fingerprinting."
It should be noted that all the data Facebook gathers aren't just to track and show ads for revenue. The efforts also enable Facebook to run more smoothly, and helping it detect flaws, scams and more..
But again what Facebook highlights that "We don't sell any of your information to anyone, and we never will." About how the company makes money, the policy says that: "We use the information we have about you -- including information about your interests, actions and connections -- to select and personalize ads, offers and other sponsored content that we offer you."
So here, and again, Facebook is pronouncing itself as the middle man that connects advertisers with their much-needed targeted audience. Facebook can do this using its massive trove of user data which details about people's taste, location, connection and more.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was about how a mere number of users, just 300,000 of them, were able to harvest data from millions of users. Facebook acknowledged that a flaw resulted this. Previously, the company had tweaked and put more restriction on third-party apps to prevent future misuse.
And about for how long Facebook stores information about its users, the answer is it depends.
Once users delete their Facebook account (not deactivate), Facebook will remove everything the users have posted on the social media. However, it doesn't include those that Facebook gathered from other sources.
One reason is for legal purposes, and to also prevent abuse. "For example, if relevant, we exchange with third-party partners about the reliability of your account to prevent fraud, abuse and other harmful activity on and off our products," the policy says.
Here, users have the option to adjust their settings, changing how much they want their profile to show on public, and much data they want to share with third-party app, as well as other privacy settings.
But when it comes to Facebook's data policy, the company isn't giving users much of a choice.
Further reading: Facebook Restricts Data Access: All Users' Information May Have Been Harvested