“At Facebook, we are constantly developing new experiences and features to help you control your information,” the company said in a post on The Facebook Blog.
“Some of our recent work includes simplified privacy settings and publisher privacy controls that let you select your audience every time you post something on Facebook. We plan a lot more innovations in the months ahead so check back from time to time.”
There will now be “a single control for your content, more powerful controls for your basic information and an easy control to turn off all applications,” Zuckerberg added in the post.
Many Facebook users complained that the social-networking site’s privacy controls were confusing. Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the public backlash that followed Facebook’s revised privacy model.
“You have sent us lots of feedback,” he wrote. “We’ve listened carefully in order to figure out the best next steps. We recognize that we made a lot of changes, so we really wanted to take the time to understand your feedback and make sure we address your concerns.”
In place of an existing document that Facebook admitted was “longer than the U.S. constitution – without the amendments,” the draft policy contains chunks of information organized around more practical headings such as “Your information and how it is used,” “Your information on other websites and applications” and “Your information on Facebook.”
Seriously, at a glance, this seems entirely for the better. Take, for instance, the segment titled “How advertising works.” Not only does it explain that personalized ads can be delivered to you based on your location, age and interests, but it actually shows the tool used by advertisers to set their targeting preference — and even lets you try it out.
“We struggle with really hitting home to users that we do not sell their data to advertisers,” said Mr. Palmieri, so the new policy includes screen shots that show what advertisers see about Facebook users.
Privacy policies are often written by lawyers in notoriously vague language to provide companies legal cover for required notice about user data that’s required by the Federal Trade Commission and other regulatory bodies.
But in a recent report, the FTC noted that it was difficult for the average person to understand privacy policies – and that many people assume that just because a company has one, their privacy is being protected.
“The new policy is much more of a user guide to how to manage your data,” said Jules Polonetsky, the director of the Future of Privacy Forum, which was consulted by Facebook. “You might actually want to read this thing.”