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Help Facebook Create Its New Privacy Policy


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Posted ImageFacebook just changed its privacy policy last year. No one made much fuss about it since no one really cared about privacy policies until Google decided to announce it was going to update its own. So the matter went fairly unnoticed, but that was not the end of it.

Now Facebook is looking to update the policy, to include details about newer features and more information about existing features and practices.

Companies update their policies and terms of service all the time, but this wasn't Facebook idea, though that's not something it's going to admit all too willingly, the changes came at the behest of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office which reviewed Facebook data retention policies and had some "suggestions" on how to improve them.

The revised policy is mostly to clarify some issues, make some details easier to understand and provide more context where needed. But there are a couple of bigger changes as well.

For one, Facebook now keeps data it gets from third-parties or advertisers for as long as it's necessary. It used to keep this data for 180 days but now the data will be deleted as soon as the third parties don't need it any more, which could be earlier than 180 days, but longer too.

Another change that is quite interesting hints at advertising served by Facebook outside of the site. Specifically, it wants to be able to use your data to serve you custom ads on other sites, or apps for that matter, just like it does on Facebook itself.

This doesn't mean that Facebook will create an ad network any time soon, but it makes it possible for it to do so. It may not happen this year, but there's been little doubt that Facebook will eventually go this route, to maximize revenue and truly challenge Google.

In the meantime, Facebook is asking for feedback from users and interested parties on the proposed changes. You can see what's new on the Site Governance Page and you can even get in touch with Facebook's chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, 12:00 PM EST/9:00 AM PDT on Monday, May 14 if you have questions.


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