Under legal pressure, Facebook clarifies how it uses your data

The clarifications come in response to a recent court ruling

Facebook wants to be clear: It can use the names, profile pictures and other data of its members to deliver ads on the site.

On Thursday, the site announced a wide range of proposed updates to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, two key documents that explain how the social network collects and uses people's data. The update includes a revised explanation of how things like people's names, profile pictures and content may be used in connection with ads or commercial content.

With the updates, Facebook wants to make its policies more clear. And specifically, to make it clear "that you are granting Facebook permission for this [commercial] use when you use our services," said Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, policy, on the company's website.

"We hope this clarification helps you understand how we use your information in this way," she said.

The site will be gathering feedback over the next seven days on the proposed updates. Facebook, with more than 1 billion members, knows that its policies can trigger volatile reactions. "We will carefully consider feedback before adopting any changes," the company said.

Facebook undervalued in a last-click attribution model
Facebook aims to simplify advertising for marketers
Facebook talks hyper-targeting, analytics and cross-platforming

Facebook is not issuing the clarifications purely for altruistic reasons. On Monday a U.S. judge approved a US$20 million fund for Facebook to settle a class-action lawsuit against the site's "sponsored stories" advertising program, which pairs some Facebook members' information with commercial content to deliver ads to people on the site.

Plaintiffs had claimed that their names and likenesses, such as their profile photos, were being misappropriated to promote advertisers' products and services.

As part of the ruling, Facebook was ordered to change its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to give users better information about, and control over, how their data is used in connection with sponsored stories.

In its revised Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Facebook says that by joining the site, "you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you."

If users have selected a specific audience for their content or information, Facebook will respect that choice, the company said.

Facebook also expects its users to understand that the company may not always identify paid services and communications as such, according to the document.

How children's data is used in connection with ads was one of the major issues in Monday's court ruling. In the revised document, Facebook hopes to circumvent future issues around minors by stating that, "If you are under the age of 18, or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to the terms of this section on your behalf."

Thursday's changes also include some information to clarify that Facebook's apps may be updated from time to time, and that although the site is free, users are still responsible for access fees like data charges and text messages.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes 2017: The Machines Are Here

It’s day 4 in Cannes and among the ever-growing divergent panels, presentations and workshops spanning from one end of the Croisette to the other, there has been a very real emergence of how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning needs to fit into the marketing ecosystem of today and tomorrow.

Aden Hepburn

Executive creative director and managing director, VML Australia

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

It is interesting. Rebrand is very good. Perhaps they should change the logo to something more modern. For example as it is - https://www...

David Hill

Grace Group undergoes first rebrand in 30 years to unify and contemporise

Read more

Hey Guys, just one small typo that changes a part of the story :“That was a really big step forward for our company because we didn’t hav...

Damian Young

Chobani tastes success with data analytics platform

Read more

This is amazing! Congratulations to Cochlear for continuing to lead innovation in every way!

Chris

How this marketing ops leader is lifting the automation ante at Cochlear

Read more

Interesting case! It seems like universities can also benefit from marketing automation. I've started using getresponse some time ago and...

Aaren

How marketing automation is helping drive CX change at Adelaide University

Read more

Always great to see and read these success stories and the growth of gamification. This story is very warming and can act as an inspirati...

James Doyle

5 tips to boost engagement with gamification from Donut King

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in