Facebook’s Latest Policy Update Tackles Data Surveillance

Being on a social network in the modern era means that, more often than not,  your information and browsing habits are often collected, which always makes people a bit wary when it comes to your personal privacy.

There have been some incidents in recent history however, such as the protests happening around the Dakota pipeline in the United States, where there were incidents and reports (from places such as The Guardian) of law enforcement using Facebook data against the sites policies to track these protestors in the US, which as you can imagine, had people fairly upset.

In the Dakota pipeline’s case the community was quick to respond with people all around the world checking into the location where the protest was taking place, in order to confuse the law enforcement officials looking to garner information.

Following these dodgy dealings Facebook was urged by the American Civil Liberties Union to update their policies, as there were accusations that a third-party social media developer was feeding Facebook data to law enforcement officials.

The social media giant has now responded to the issue, and hopes that more direct wording used in the revised policy will help ensure a developer “understands the underlying policy and how to comply” when it comes to your data.

The reworded Facebook policy definitely makes things a lot more clear. “Our goal is to make our policy explicit,” says Facebook’s official Privacy Policy page. “Over the past several months we have taken enforcement action against developers who created and marketed tools meant for surveillance, in violation of our existing policies.”

TechRadar managed to get hold of a Facebook representative, who confirmed that the change in policy will be affecting Facebook worldwide, and the update to its policy has already been made.

While this is a step in the right direction for data privacy, the fact it has already been abused means that even with more stringent policies in place, it is not impossible for the authorities to do it again (albeit slightly illegally this time), so as always – be careful of what you put on the Internet.

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