Info-tech

Meta redesigns privacy center, introduces two new privacy controls

Debangana Ghosh | | Updated on: May 26, 2022

| Photo Credit: Dado Ruvic

Plans to introduce more transparency

In an attempt to introduce more transparency, Meta has redesigned its privacy policy and launched two new features under privacy controls for default audience and advertisements. These features are for Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, barring WhatsApp and a couple of others in the company’s family of apps.

The social-media giant has simplified and rewritten the language of its privacy policy for better understanding of most users, though no other changes have been made to the existing policies. These policies, along with a few new updates, will be translated in 60 languages. Meta has also worked on redesigning the privacy center location within its apps to make the tools more accessible to users.

While users will start getting in-product notifications on these updates starting from May 26, the new version will get into effect on July 26.

Separately, two new features are getting added. A new setting called Default Audience has been added to manage who gets to see new post updates. Previously, posts were shared with the same audience as the last one. For instance, if your previous post was public, your current post, too, would be public, unless you manually change your settings for that post. But now, you can change it each time you post.

Meta also introduced an ‘interest’ section under Ad Topics, where users can control and choose what topics or product categories that would want to see advertisements for. Meta has included a vast category of topics and interests to choose from. This will in turn also help advertising clients target better.

Key changes

Rob Sherman, V-P & Deputy Chief Privacy Officer, Policy, Meta, said: “We did a global series of consultations with experts from different discipline to get feedback on how to make our policies more user-friendly. The updates being shared today are based on that feedback from privacy experts, policy makers and users across the world. Going forward, we will update our policies more frequently. While approaching this it was clear that complex words and terms in privacy policy as per industry standards were too long. We were getting more demands from regulators to be more comprehensive for users to understand how their data is being used.”

There were a slew of tweaks to the Terms of Service, too. Meta will now be more elaborate in terms of sharing types and samples of data being collected and details on how and why its being collected and processed. Meta explicitly said it doesn’t share information around users’ religious and political preferences with the clients.

These examples will be more personalised for the users and Meta will also disclose how it de-identifies and aggregates data. For instance, Sherman shared that message on messenger are being analysed by masking both the content of the actual message and user identity.

Meta will be more transparent on explaining how it works with partners, vendors, service providers and third parties.

Published on May 26, 2022
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