Facebook rewrites terms of service amid data scrutiny

Facebook rewrites terms of service amid data scrutiny
© Greg Nash

Facebook is rewriting its terms of service and data policy in an effort to make them more clear to users as the company faces scrutiny in the U.S. over its privacy practices and prepares for a new European Union law that will require more transparency with users.

“These updates are about making things clearer,” Facebook said Wednesday in a blog post. “We’re not asking for new rights to collect, use or share your data on Facebook. We’re also not changing any of the privacy choices you’ve made in the past.”

The revisions detail what information the company uses, what users consent to and how Facebook’s advertising practices work.


The updated policies also make clear how Facebook shares information across the brands it controls, like Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

“For example, we can suggest that you join a group on Facebook that includes people you follow on Instagram or communicate with using Messenger,” reads the new data policy.

Facebook and other internet companies are preparing themselves for a sweeping new data law in the EU that requires them to give users better control over their personal information. Under the new regulations, users will have the ability to easily adjust the permissions they grant to digital services.

The law, which is called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will also require websites to be more upfront with their users about their data policies, prohibiting them from cloaking the practices in fine print.

Facebook is also grappling with concerns about how it handles private information after it was reported last month that a political consulting firm that worked for President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE’s campaign improperly obtained information on 50 million users.

A House committee announced on Wednesday that CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — Amazon draws COVID scrutiny Meta exec who co-founded Diem digital currency leaving the company Two lawyers who filed suit challenging election results ordered to pay nearly 7K MORE would testify on privacy concerns in an April 11 hearing.