By Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer
Over the past year, we’ve introduced new features and controls to help you get more out of Facebook, and listened to people who have asked us to better explain how we get and use information.
Today, we’re introducing Privacy Basics, which gives you tips and a how-to guide for taking charge of your experience on Facebook. We’re also proposing updates to our terms, data policy, and cookies policy to reflect new features we’ve been working on. And we’re continuing to improve ads based on the apps and sites you use and expanding your control over this kind of advertising. For the next 7 days, you’ll be able to submit comments and suggestions about our updates.
Privacy Basics offers interactive guides to answer the most commonly asked questions about how you can control your information on Facebook. For example, you can learn about untagging, unfriending, and blocking, and how to choose an audience for your posts. This information is available in 36 languages.
Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with exactly who you want, including our privacy checkup, reminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors.
Helping you get more out of Facebook
Every day, people use our apps and services to connect with the people, places and things they care about. Our updates reflect the new products we’ve been working on to improve your Facebook experience. They also more clearly explain how our services work. Here are some highlights:
- Discover what’s going on around you: We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends. We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.
- Make purchases more convenient: In some regions, we’re testing a Buy button that helps people discover and purchase products without leaving Facebook. We’re also working on new ways to make transactions even more convenient and secure.
- Find information about privacy on Facebook at the moment you need it: To make them more accessible, we moved tips and suggestions to Privacy Basics and also have resources about our policies for advertisers and developers. Our data policy is shorter and clearer, making it easier to read.
- Understand how we use the information we receive: For example, understanding battery and signal strength helps make sure our apps work well on your device. We ask for permission to use your phone’s location to offer optional features like check-ins or adding your location to posts.
- Get to know how the family of Facebook companies and apps work together: Over the past few years, Facebook has grown and we want to make sure you know about our family of companies, apps and services. We use the information we collect to improve your experience. For example, if you’re locked out of your Instagram account, you can use your Facebook information to recover your password. Nothing in our updates changes the commitments that Instagram, WhatsApp and other companies have made to protect your information and your privacy.
- Your information and advertising: People sometimes ask how their information is shared with advertisers. Nothing is changing with these updates—we help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who you are.
Keep in mind that your settings on Facebook are not changing, and that some features are only available in certain regions.
You can review the proposed updates and provide comments until November 20. We’ll share the final updates soon after that.
Giving you more control over ads
We’ve heard from some of you that it can be difficult to control the types of ads you see if you use multiple devices and browsers. In the past, if you opted out of certain kinds of advertising on your laptop, that choice may not have been applied for ads on your phone. We know that many people use more than one phone, tablet, or browser to access Facebook, so it should be easy for you to make a single choice that applies across all of your devices.
That’s why Facebook respects the choices you make about the ads you see, across every device. You can opt out of seeing ads on Facebook based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance. You can also opt out using controls on iOS and Android. When you tell us you don’t want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook. Also, we’re now making our ad preferences tool available in additional countries, beginning with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.
We hope these updates improve your experience. Protecting people’s information and providing meaningful privacy controls are at the core of everything we do, and we believe today’s announcement is an important step. We look forward to hearing people’s feedback and continuing to build the trust people have in Facebook.