Meta Privacy Policy: Rewritten, but it won’t Collect Data in ‘New Ways’

The old Facebook Data Policy is currently Meta’s Privacy Policy, rewritten “to make it easier to understand and reflect the latest products we offer.”

With this modification, Meta “is not collecting, using or sharing your data in new modes based on this policy update, and we still do not trade your information,” according to the company.

The status quo stays in the new TOS, for better or worse. But, as it occasionally does, the company formerly comprehended as Facebook has made a new revision of its Terms of Service and updated its privacy policy.

Instead, this update pinches the language and adds examples to help people comprehend what each segment is about.

After reading the new policy and comparing it to the old one, this seems to hold up, for better or more destructive. John Davisson, the senior attorney for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said in a comment.

The guarantee that this policy won’t share data in new forms sounds good, but “the problem is that Facebook already funnels user data at industrial scale into an extensive targeted advertising ecosystem. So the status quo is not acceptable for privacy.”

Meta has created overtures about making its policies more straightforward to read more than once over the last few years (in 2014 and 2018, for example). This layout may do the best job so far, but as much as it helps people understand what they agree to — it may help Meta more.

Including examples supports preventing the kinds of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of rules, as with Instagram’s terms of service update in 2012 when people believed the service would suddenly start selling everyone’s photos.

Pushing the point that “Even the clearest privacy policy isn’t a substitute for enforceable privacy rights or legal limits on data processing.” Davisson named it simply “unrealistic” to think that Facebook users can get what they agree to in a 9,000-word agreement, including dozens of nested menus wrapping diverse settings and scenarios.

The new policy affects Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, and other Meta developments, but not WhatsApp, Messenger Kids, Workplace, or Quest devices employed without a Facebook account (those have their privacy policies). Information on procedures for non-users involved in their data collected in “shadow profiles” is listed here.

Meta is also rolling out the latest Audience Controls on Facebook that change who might notice the posts you make. The tool used to default to whatever audience setting you’d employed most recently, whether Public, Friends (+ friends of anyone tagged), Only Me, or a custom selection of people you’d show the post to or hide it from.

Now, whatever your default selection is in your settings will be there at first for every fresh post you make, even if you used something else on your earlier one.