Facebook has announced an update to the wording of its terms of service in order to better clarify how your personal data is used, and what your ownership rights are in regards to uploaded content.
As explained by Facebook:
“People should have clear, simple explanations of how online services work and use personal information. Today we’re announcing updates to our Terms of Service to clarify how Facebook makes money, and to better explain the rights people have when using our services. The updates do not change any of our commitments or policies – they solely explain things more clearly.”
Among the changes, which will go into effect on July 31st, Facebook has amended:
To this new replacement section, which specifically addresses how Facebook generates revenue from user data:
The explanation includes a lot more specific detail about how Facebook utilizes such info – and underlines that it does not sell such. Which might be a bit hard to take for some, following in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica issue, but the added clarity focuses on providing more specific information about Facebook’s processes in order to improve transparency.
Facebook has also changed this description on content removals:
To this, more specific overview, which outlines the process of removal and what users can/should expect:
Facebook has also added more detail around its regulations relating to how it can use uploaded content, adding an explanation as to why it needs this (“This license is only for the purpose of making our Products available to you.”), while it’s also provided additional detail about what happens when you delete content you’ve shared.
“For example, when you delete something you’ve posted, it’s no longer visible but it can take up to 90 days to be removed from our systems.”
There doesn’t appear to be any stand out red flags in Facebook’s updates, most of which are supplemental clarifications which have been added as a result of work with the European Consumer Protection Cooperation Network. That’s not to say they’re not important, the refinements will help to make it clear what happens to your information, and how Facebook operates. But the wording changes appear to be, in large part, just that – additional explanations to reassure users, and better outline Facebook’s processes.
So Zuck and Co. still have all your data, and can still use it for ad targeting. They’re not listening into your private conversations through your phone speaker, and there’s no new update accounting for sudden profiling of you based on your uploaded images.
But they are relevant revisions, which will help to provide more transparency on Facebook’s process.