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Friday, May 11, 2012
Facebook Updates Its User Data Policy

Facebook updated its User Data Policy section adding more information about the social network's features, following an inquiry of European Data protection authorities for transparency.

Facebook redesigned its Data Use Policy last year and soon after the company's data data practices was echoed by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's Office, which completed an audit of Facebook's data practices and concluded that the company had a "positive approach and commitment ... to respecting the privacy rights of users." However, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's Office also asked Facebook to enhance its Data Use Policy to be even more detailed about how the company uses information.

Facebook's international headquarters are based in Dublin, Ireland, a member of the European Union. This means the company is required to comply with European data privacy laws.

Today, Facebook is proposing improvements that respond to this feedback. For example, Facebook included additional tips, marked with a light bulb so users can find them easily. Facebook has added new links to its Help Center, and created a new section explaining how the company uses "cookies" and similar technologies. The company also updated the corresponding explanations about cookies in its Help Center. hThe company also provides more information about how its uses data to operate Facebook, to advertise, and to promote safety and security for Facebook users.

The updated policy also describes Activity Log, a new privacy tool that lets users see in one place the information they've posted to Facebook. From Activity Log, users can control who can see each piece of information and decide whether it appears on their timeline. Facebook also updated its policy to reflect the launch of timeline and to provide information on cover photos and other Facebook features that work with timeline. Finally, the company made a number of organizational changes to make things easier to find, as well as some administrative updates.

Facebook has posted a detailed explanation of its proposal, as well as the changes to the Data Use Policy themselves, on its Site Governance Page.

In addition, Facebook offers nine other terms and policies including the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Community Standards, and policies addressing other activities on Facebook. This week Facebook also made all of these terms and policies more accessible by launching our Facebook Terms and Policies Hub, which will serve as a central location for all of the terms and policies. This new Page will be available at the bottom of most pages on Facebook under "Terms," from the Help Center, and at Facebook Policies.

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