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Facebook Rejigs Its Data And Adverts Policies

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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New Facebook terms and conditions, including improved ad targeting, will kick in on January 1

Facebook has announced a change in its data terms as part of a series of changes aimed at making the site’s privacy policy clearer to users.

In an effort to improve Facebook’s often patchy relationship with user data and privacy, the site will be introducing Privacy Basics, a how-to guide concerning the best way to protect and control what information is shared on the site.

Privacy Basics offers a number of interactive guides covering areas such as untagging, unfriending, blocking and how to choose an audience for each of your posts, and will be available in 36 languages.

“Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with the people you want,” the company said.

The news was displayed to members logging in to Facebook this morning, with the new changes taking effect from January 1.

Facebook brokenTargeted

The changes also mention the introduction of Facebook’s ‘Buy’ feature, which was announced earlier this year and will allow users to purchase goods directly from advertisements on their news feed or homepage.

But most importantly, the new terms also cover how Facebook gathers data on its users, particularly location-based information, and how the site can best target them with appropriate adverts.

Facebook will also look to better use the information it receives from a user’s mobile device, particularly battery level and signal strength, to make sure its apps work as well as they should. This means that some options and features such as check-in or adding your location to posts may not always appear in the future.

The site has also fixed an issue which meant that users who had opted out of seeing certain kinds of advertising on a laptop, but were still seeing them on their mobile device. Going forward, whatever choices a user makes regarding adverts, whether via a mobile app or on a PC, will apply across all platforms, with users opting out of seeing ads on Facebook based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance.

“People sometimes ask how their information is shared with advertisers,” Facebook wrote. “Nothing is changing with these updates—we help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who you are.”

“We hope these updates improve your experience,” the site concluded. “Protecting people’s information and providing meaningful privacy controls are at the core of everything we do, and we believe these announcements are an important step.”

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