Here’s What You Need to Know About Meta’s New Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

  • Meta is not collecting, using, or sharing your data in new ways based on this policy update
  • The status quo remains in the new TOS, for better or worse
  • Meta rewrites privacy policy but says it won’t collect data in ‘new ways’

Meta formerly known as Facebook has produced a new revision of its Terms of Service and updated its privacy policy. The old Facebook Data Policy is now Meta’s Privacy Policy, rewritten “to make it easier to understand and to reflect the latest products we offer.”

According to the company, the revised policy states that “it is not collecting, using or sharing your data in new ways based on this policy update and we still do not sell your information” Instead, this update says that the language and ads are examples to help people understand what each segment is about.

John Davisson, the senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said that the “ promise that this policy won’t share data in new ways sounds good, but “the problem is that Facebook already funnels user data at an industrial scale into a vast targeted advertising ecosystem. So the status quo is not good for privacy.”  To The Verge.

The 5 w’s of Meta


Meta has made statements about making its policies simpler and easier to read more than once over the last few years (in 2014 and 2018), and this layout is considered the best currently, but as much as it helps people understand what they’re agreeing to — it may help Meta more. Including examples helps prevent the kinds of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of rules, for example, the 2012 update of Instagram, when people thought the service would suddenly start selling everyone’s photos.

Even the clearest privacy policy isn’t a substitute for current working privacy rights or legal limits on data processing,” Davisson called it simply “unrealistic” to think that Facebook users can understand what they’re agreeing to in a 9,000-word agreement including dozens of technical words covering different settings and scenarios.

Meta is also coming up with a new Audience Controls on Facebook that changes “who might see the posts you make.” The tool used to default to whatever audience setting you’d used most recently, whether that was Public, Friends (+ friends of anyone tagged), Only Me, or a custom selection of people you’d show the post to or hide it from. The default selection is in the settings and will be there at first for every new post you make, even if you used something else on your previous one.

The new policy applies to Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and other Meta products, but not WhatsApp, Workplace, Messenger Kids, or Quest devices used without a Facebook account (those have their own privacy policies). Information on policies for non-users who may be concerned about their information has been collected in “shadow profiles”.

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