Social media platform Facebook has agreed to update its terms and conditions clarifying its handling of users’ data after intervention by the European Commission.
The site’s terms and conditions will now include clauses detailing Facebook’s use of the data consumers share to develop marketing profiles and sell space for targeted advertising; as well as further clarifying how users can close their Facebook accounts and under what terms accounts may be disabled by the company’s moderators. The Commission and consumer protection groups have welcomed the update to Facebook’s transparency policies.
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica harvest the data of Facebook users to develop targeted political advertisements; and following various other data protection breaches by Facebook, the European Commission and a number of national consumer protection bodies called on the site to make clear to its users how their data would be used and what revenues would be drawn from its use. Facebook has therefore agreed to make clear in its user agreement that, while its users are not charged for its services, any data they share on Facebook may be used by the site for commercial purposes.
Facebook is expected to implement its new transparency commitments by the end of June 2019, under the oversight of the European Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation network.