Facebook to revise terms of service to include more privacy language

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Wednesday it planned to revise the written policies that people agree to when they use the social network, adding language about the protection of personal data as it prepares to comply with a strict new European law.

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo

Facebook said it was publishing draft revisions of two documents that apply worldwide, its terms of service and its data policy, and was seeking feedback on them in advance of making them final.

The updates do not ask for new rights to collect, use or share data and will not affect the privacy settings that people have made on their Facebook accounts, Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer, said in a phone interview.

“This is intended to give people much more in the way of details,” Sherman said.

At more than 4,000 words, the draft of the new data policy is about 50 percent longer than the existing one.

The world’s largest social media company is under pressure after a series of scandals that has shaken the confidence of users, advertisers, lawmakers and investors.

Last month, Facebook acknowledged that personal information about more than 50 million users wrongly ended up in the hands of consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Facebook, its competitors and all companies that touch personal information in the European Union must also comply with a law taking effect there next month that creates landmark new protections for data.

Failure to comply with the law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), carries a maximum penalty of up to 4 percent of annual revenue.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday that the company wanted to apply the same legal principles worldwide in spirit, but stopped short of making such a commitment, which privacy advocates have demanded.

Facebook last revised its terms of service in January 2015 and its data policy in September 2016.

The draft of the new data policy includes new wording such as the promise: “We don’t sell any of your information to anyone, and we never will.” Similar language has appeared in other Facebook documents, but was not spelled out in the most recent version of the data policy.

Facebook will collect feedback on the drafts for seven days and, depending on what it hears, revise further, Sherman said.

Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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