Facebook Must Clearly Explain What It Does With User Data

Facebook has long had a tense relationship with European officials, who view the company’s data and privacy practices with suspicion. The company took another hit overseas this week when it gave in to pressure from the European Commission to change its terms and conditions. Now, the social media giant will have to “clearly explain” to users what it does with their data, as well as disclosing what revenue it generates with their personal info.

“Today Facebook finally shows commitment to more transparency and straight forward language in its terms of use,” Europe’s consumer protection commissioner Vera Jourová said in a statement. “A company that wants to restore consumers trust after the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal should not hide behind complicated, legalistic jargon on how it is making billions on people’s data.”

“Now, users will clearly understand that their data is used by the social network to sell targeted ads,” she continued.

It’s refreshing to see Facebook get taken to task by regulators — though this change will only apply to European users. However, with heightened scrutiny here in the U.S., there’s a chance the company could face a similar reckoning in its home country.




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