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Facebook Simplifies Privacy Policy

Keeps users in the loop with the privacy policy draft

Facebook has received much bad press in the past, and that prompted a privacy setting update virtually after every other week from the social networking giant. With almost everyone with access to the Internet having a Facebook account, privacy has been a contentious issue for both Facebook and those affected by it. The social networking website has therefore taken another proactive step by making the early draft of a revamped privacy policy public. In case you’re wondering, that’s the deliberately confusing legalese part that you’re supposed to acknowledge before you can join, create an account or install a program.

While the updated policy does not change Facebook’s existing methods of harvesting user information, it makes the whole process more transparent and easy to understand. This move comes after Facebook itself admitted that its existing privacy policy is “longer than the U.S. constitution – without the amendments”. The new draft is shorter and, more importantly, easier to understand, with headings like “your information and how it is used,” and “how advertising works,” which make the process clear to a layman.

However, there is still a grey area in how Facebook defines “your information”, which Nicole Ozer, a policy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, contends does not include user data like the IP addresses, triangulated location of a mobile phone, and the date and time stamp of the uploaded photographs. Despite the downers and ambiguity of the definition of user information, this is a step in the right direction. It’s not often that a big corporation simplifies the legalese and keeps the users in the loop before making a decision.

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