Recently you might have seen your inbox flooded with e-mails about companies updating their privacy policies and this may not have been only by a few major companies but even by several that you may have forgotten about as well.
This has been to comply with EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which required such platforms to increase and protect their user’s privacy.
This law originally resulted from the conspiracy that Facebook had given access to a Pro-Trump political agenda known as Cambridge Analytica to download data of over 50 million people. This made people suspicious of Facebook data use policy and even led to a questioning of Mark Zuckerberg in Washington by US Lawmakers about why Facebook failed to protect the data of its users.
To address the issues at hand Facebook has come up with a new privacy and data policy. Let’s take a look at the key takeaways from it.
Not Much Has Changed
Facebook has specifically not introduced anything new rather has made it easier for people to access certain privacy settings which previously had been buried deep in the “Settings Menu.” You yourself will notice that the Facebook App or Web page now has a different arrangement to it which allows you to access certain settings, locate, download or delete your data much easier now.
Facebook has decided it will itself ask users when they log onto Facebook that whether they want to be part of such a program or not.
Additionally, Facebook will also inquire whether people are fine with Facebook using and collecting their data regarding posts they have shared on their walls about religious, social, or political views. With a click of a single button, you can alter the amount of data you share with Facebook.
Facebook Is Collecting More Data than We Thought
It may be a surprise to you that Facebook may be collecting more information on you than you thought. The information that Facebook collects is not restricted to your single Facebook Profile and the activities that you may go through it.
Facebook also allows apps to collect data on a user based on his entire network of Facebook friends. When you are tagged in a post by someone else or if your friend accesses any app and agrees to terms of an app, your data may be collected as well without your consent being taken.
Same was the case with Cambridge Analytica, used by only 300,000 users but led to data being leaked of millions. Apart from this, Facebook may also keep information such as that of your Credit Card is used for payment, your battery percentage, storage remaining on your phone or about other users using the same WiFI network.
Also, Facebook does not delete information about your account upon deactivating and can only be fully deleted by getting rid of your account. Even after this, some information may be kept by them for specific reasons. In result, this policy is a worry to several users.
There are Now Stricter Rules for Minors
With the introduction of its new Facebook data use policy, it also aims to become more protective about the information collected about the minors which age from 13 to 18. Many special features have been built into Facebook for all teens, regardless of location.
Such as, advertising categories for teens are more restricted, and the posts that they may make are not visible to the public and only may be seen by those they have added on Facebook.
Under GDRP, in some countries children aged between 13 and 15 may have to ask permission of their parents to allow certain settings which would lead to their version Facebook being less personalized unless allowed by their parents.
Even if you are not tagged in these photos the feature will be able to detect your face and inform you so that you may be able to take required action against whom posted the picture. This feature also suggests you to tag those friends or people that are part of the picture.
To turn on or off this feature is entirely optional and your choice to whether allow it. In the case of minors, Facebook has decided to keep this feature off until they are adults.
How Facebook Uses Your Data
Facebook also realizes how important it is for people to not let their privacy being invaded. It claims that it does not let its partners to directly access its user’s information.
It alternatively, first, gathers data of several million users as a collective group and then provides its partners this information presented in the form a demographic which it can use to its benefit but cannot exploit the users individually, manipulate or make wrong use of a person’s data.
This can be very assuring for the users as they need not fear of any blackmail or use of their data illegally or against them directly.
Overall, it feels like that in reality not much change has been actually made by Facebook in order to increase protection of its user’s privacy, just that the settings have been made easier to be accessed.
Many users may also have not been satisfied with the outcome of the new Facebook data use policy and may have been disappointed by the lack of effort Facebook has made even after all that had happened.
But, on the other hand, it could be argued that Facebook already had given the options to protect the user’s data and it was lack of effort by the user to dig into the settings and improve it.
In all cases, though the step taken had been a small one, it is still a step towards the right direction and hopefully, more changes are to come in order to enhance the privacy of the users.