Meta says it won’t collect user data ‘in new ways’

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, announced recently that it has rewritten and re-designed its Privacy Policy and updated its Terms of Service. 

The company, which made similar changes in previous years to make its policies easier to understand and clearer, said in an article explaining the updates that “While the text looks different in both, these updates don’t allow Meta to collect, use or share your data in new ways.”

“While the text looks different in many places, Meta is not collecting, using or sharing your data in new ways based on this policy update and we still do not sell your information,” the company said. 

According to The Verge, which compared the old policy with the new policy, the company’s claim that they will not collect data in new ways is actually true.

John Davisson, the senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said in a comment to The Verge that the promise that this policy won’t share data in new ways sounds good, but “the problem is that Facebook already funnels user data at industrial scale into a vast targeted advertising ecosystem. So the status quo is not good for privacy.”

In fact, Facebook’s business relies heavily on selling user data for advertising. Unsurprisingly, Facebook spoke out against Apple when Apple announced App Tracking Transparency to force users to ask permission to monitor apps. During its fourth quarter earnings, Meta CFO Dave Wehner said that  Apple’s App Tracking Transparency will decrease the company’s sales in 2022 by about $10 billion

Earlier this year, an internal document from the Facebook Advertising team revealed that even the company’s engineers had no idea how to manage user data in a way that would truly protect it.

Meta says the updated Meta Privacy Policy covers Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other Meta products. It doesn’t cover WhatsApp, Workplace, Free Basics, Messenger Kids or the use of Quest devices without a Facebook account, which have their own privacy policies.

Written by Sophie Blake

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