Facebook Data Use Policy

This week, Facebook sent around an email to users announcing a change to their Data Use Policy, which explains how Facebook collects and uses data, and their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which explains the terms governing the use of Facebook services.

Here is what the document says about how Facebook uses the information it receives:

We use the information we receive about you in connection with the services and features we provide to you and other users like your friends, our partners, the advertisers that purchase ads on the site, and the developers that build the games, applications, and websites you use. For example, we may use the information we receive about you:

  • as part of our efforts to keep Facebook products, services and integrations safe and secure;
  • to protect Facebook’s or others’ rights or property;
  • to provide you with location features and services, like telling you and your friends when something is going on nearby;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of ads you and others see, including to deliver relevant ads to you;
  • to make suggestions to you and other users on Facebook, such as: suggesting that your friend use our contact importer because you found friends using it, suggesting that another user add you as a friend because the user imported the same email address as you did, or suggesting that your friend tag you in a picture they have uploaded with you in it; and
  • for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.

Granting us this permission not only allows us to provide Facebook as it exists today, but it also allows us to provide you with innovative features and services we develop in the future that use the information we receive about you in new ways.

While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don’t share information we receive about you with others unless we have:

  • received your permission;
  • given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or
  • removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it.

Of course, for information others share about you, they control how it is shared.

We store data for as long as it is necessary to provide products and services to you and others, including those described above. Typically, information associated with your account will be kept until your account is deleted. For certain categories of data, we may also tell you about specific data retention practices.

We are able to suggest that your friend tag you in a picture by scanning and comparing your friend’s pictures to information we’ve put together from the other photos you’ve been tagged in. This allows us to make these suggestions. You can control whether we suggest that another user tag you in a photo using the “How Tags work” settings. Learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/help/tag-suggestions

It is always important to understand how your information is controlled online. You can read the entire Proposed Updates to our Governing Documents online.

This should by no means scare anyone, but it should act as an educational experience to see how your data is being used online.

As long as you have nothing to hide and you are respectful online, you should have nothing to worry about. The data Facebook and other online organizations collect are essential to our online experience. The more data online organizations collect, the less we are bombarded with information we are not interested in.

What are your thoughts? Does the new data use policy matter to you?

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