Facebook pushes for more payments, more targeted ads with new privacy policy

Users have a week to comment on the proposed changes

Facebook Privacy Basics

Facebook Privacy Basics

Facebook has updated its privacy policy, making it shorter, clearer and easier to read. But the update also paves the way for a broader payments push and more targeted ads.

Facebook is proposing updates to its terms of use, data and cookie policy to reflect new features, while trying to more clearly explain how its services work, Erin Egan, Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer, said in a blog post Thursday.

Facebook is updating its policies to explain how it gets location information, depending on the features someone uses. "For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area," Egan said.

Facebook is also experimenting with the way people can make purchases. In addition to the buy button that Facebook is testing in some regions to allow people to make purchases without leaving the platform, it is also working on new ways to make transactions more convenient and secure, Egan said.

In addition, Facebook is showing interest in understanding battery and signal strength of users' devices "in order to make sure our apps work well." Facebook will also ask permission to use phone location "to offer optional features like check-ins or adding your location to posts," Egan said.

While the social network said it will continue to improve the way it serves ads based on the apps and sites its users use, opting out of targeted ads will get easier.

Facebook already offers an opt-out for targeted ads, but the option currently does not work across browsers and devices. This raised hackles in Germany, where consumer organizations have called the practice absurd.

But Facebook is promising changes. "When you tell us you don't want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook," Egan said, adding that the ad preferences tool will be made available in additional countries, beginning with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the U.K.

Egan also reassured people who may worry about what the updates mean for what kind of data Facebook shares with advertisers. "Nothing is changing with these updates -- we help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who you are," she said.

As part of the revamp, Facebook introduced "Privacy Basics", a tool that offers users tips and a how-to guide for taking charge of their profiles, as well as a shorter and clearer privacy policy. The tool has information about untagging, unfriending, and blocking, and how to choose an audience for posts.

Users will be able to submit comments and suggestions about the proposed updates over the next seven days. Final updates will be shared soon after the comment period closes.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessecuritysocial mediainternetprivacyFacebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?