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Meta updates privacy policy; claims not to gather data in “new ways”

The new Meta privacy policy covers Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and other Meta products, but not WhatsApp, Workplace, Messenger Kids

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Meta updates privacy policy; claims not to gather data in "new ways"

The corporation, Meta, formerly known as Facebook has released a new modification of its Terms of Service and amended its privacy policy, as it does occasionally. The former Facebook Data Policy has been renamed Meta’s Privacy Policy, and it has been changed “to make it easier to understand and reflect the latest products we offer.”

As per the revisions, Meta “is not collecting, using, or sharing your data in new ways based on this policy update,” and “we still do not sell your information.” Instead, this update clarifies the terminology and includes examples to assist people in grasping what each part is all about.

After going over the new Meta privacy policy and comparing it to the previous one, this appears to be true, for better or worse. The guarantee that this policy would not share data in new ways seems fine, but “the problem is that Facebook already funnels user data at industrial scale into a vast targeted advertising ecosystem,” said John Davisson, senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, in a statement to The Verge. As a result, the status quo is not conducive to privacy.”

Meta has made attempts to make its policies clearer and easier to read on many occasions in the previous few years (as an example, take the period between 2014 and 2018), and this layout may do the best job thus far, but it may help Meta more than it helps consumers comprehend what they’re consenting to. Including examples helps avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations of regulations, such as the issue with Instagram’s terms of service modification in 2012, when users feared the service would start selling everyone’s images.

Making the argument that “even the clearest privacy policy isn’t a replacement for enforceable privacy rights or legislative constraints on data processing,” According to Davisson, it’s “unrealistic” to believe that Facebook users can understand what they’re committing to in a 9,000-word agreement with dozens of nested choices covering various settings and circumstances.

The new Meta privacy policy covers Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and other Meta products, but not WhatsApp, Workplace, Messenger Kids, or Quest devices that aren’t connected to a Facebook account (as these have their own privacy policies). Non-users who are worried that their information has been captured in “shadow profiles” may find information on rules here.

In addition, Meta is launching new Audience Controls on Facebook, which allow you to choose who sees your posts. The tool used to default to the last audience setting you used, whether it was Public, Friends (+ friends of anybody tagged), Only Me, or a custom list of people you wanted to see or hide the post from. However, now, whatever your default selection in your preferences, it will be there at the start of every new post you create, even if you used something else previously.

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