Facebook Updating Terms, Privacy, And “Improved Ads”


Users logging in to Facebook should notice a new notification from the social media site indicating that they are updating their terms of use – and by continuing to use the service after January 1st, 2015, you are agreeing to the new policies Facebook is implementing.


Facebook’s notification of it’s new Terms and Policies update.

While many sites often update their policies and terms of use, the wording that may concern some here is regarding “seeing improved ads based on apps and sites you use”. This is a bit disconcerting, especially in the wake of yesterday’s news that Twitter has implemented app tracking through their app as well. But are the updated terms that bad? Let’s take a look.

Clicking through the notification message will take you to Facebook’s post about the updated terms. At a glance, it looks like Facebook is listening to its users and offering a new “Privacy Basics” section to help users understand and control their privacy settings on the site. This section deals with untagging, unfriending, blocking, reminders for public posts, simplified audience selectors, and a privacy checkup tool.

Under the heading of “helping you get more out of Facebook”, the company goes on to explain how their apps work together, testing optional features like Nearby Friends and a new Buy button. Facebook also indicates why they need access to certain permissions on your device.

For example, understanding battery and signal strength helps make sure our apps work well on your device. We ask for permission to use your phone’s location when we offer optional features like check-ins or adding your location to posts.

So, according to Facebook, they either collect data from your device in order to make sure their apps work efficiently, or to access optional location based features. Facebook goes on to outline how they way your information is shared with advertisers isn’t changing with the new terms.

Ads. We all love them, don’t we? The last section in the post about the updates addresses the statement in the notification about “seeing improved ads”.

We’ve heard from some of you that it can be difficult to control the types of ads you see if you use multiple devices and browsers. In the past, if you opted out of certain kinds of advertising on your laptop, that choice may not have been applied for ads on your phone. We know that many people use more than one phone, tablet or browser to access Facebook, so it should be easy for you to make a single choice that applies across all of your devices.

Sounds dandy, doesn’t it? Facebook is now applying your opt-out – “of certain kinds of advertising” – choices across all devices you use to access Facebook. A great step forward for sure, but the fact remains that you, as a user, need to OPT-OUT from advertising. Here’s where it gets tricky. Facebook doesn’t allow you to opt-out of advertising through their site, you must opt out through the Digital Advertising Alliance, a third party alliance that allows you to opt-out from “participating companies” through one of three Alliances depending if you live in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Facebook is implementing more controls in their iOS and Android apps however and making more ad preference choices available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.

What do you think about Facebook’s updated terms, data policy, and advertising preferences? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

  Source: Facebook

Featured image courtesy Facebook.

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