Facebook set to change its privacy policy again

On March 15, Facebook published a draft of the changes that it plans to make to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and asked users to comment on them.

Among the most important proposed changes are:

  • Every app used by a Facebook friend of yours will be able to access all your information that the friend can access.
  • Collecting users’ content or information or accessing Facebook by using automated means is not allowed if Facebook is not asked and has granted permission first.
  • You will not tag users if you know they do not wish to be tagged.
  • Facebook reserves the right to exclude or limit the provision of any service or feature in certain geographic areas.
  • If you download Facebook software (e.g. browser plugin or standalone software), you agree that the software may download upgrades, updates and additional features without asking permission.
  • The modifying, decompiling, reverse engineering or extracting of source code from Facebook is forbidden unless you get a written permission to do so by the company.
  • Your continued use of Facebook following changes to their terms constitutes your acceptance of the amended terms.

The comment period for the changes has ended yesterday, and Facebook has announced it will review the comments before deciding which changes to scrap (if any).

The draft was available for review in a number of languages, and it’s interesting to note that over 35,000 German-speaking users have taken the opportunity to disagree with the proposed changes.

According to the current Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Facebook is required to set up a voting process that will offer alternatives if 7,000 users comment on the proposed change. Funnily enough, the language is set to be changed in the next version, and the same number will be required for commenting on “a” proposed change to obtain the same result.

“We are updating the commitments we make to users and they make to us by using our service-our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities or Terms of Use. We proposed some mostly administrative and clarifying changes (e.g. ‘no hateful’ to ‘no hate speech’) to this document,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

Among the administrative changes is the proposal of renaming the “Privacy Policy” into “Data Use Policy”. Privacy advocates will undoubtedly point out that that particular change sums up Facebook’s ultimate goal when it comes to handling user data.

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