Facebook translates privacy policy for non-legal experts

facebook privacyFacebook’s never exactly been revered for its privacy policy. Loathed seems like a more accurate description. And it looks like it’s been taking stock of constant complaints over its security holes and has simplified its privacy guidelines so that criticism can no longer be attributed to naivety.

The social network has made no changes to its privacy policy, instead just cutting the legal jargon and putting the document in very, very plain English for its billions of users. Prior to the revamp, the manuscript was admittedly “longer than the US constitution – without the amendments.” So while the policy is still the work of various legal experts and lawyers, it’s now labeled under headings like “How advertising works,” and “How we share your information.” While it’s much more succinct than its predecessor, still prepare yourself for a lengthy read if you plan to wade through the entire thing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, privacy and product counsel for Facebook Edward Palmieri decided the social network needed to apply its simple, clean cut element to its privacy policy. For one, this will make reviewing the guidelines a less intimidating process. Secondly, users may not be so quick to point a finger at Facebook. “We struggled with really hitting home to users that we do not sell their data to advertisers,” he explains.

Facebook has often found itself the center of scrutiny what it does with user information, and has faced direct consumer calls for stronger security as well as questions from Congress. Users have complained that the former document was impossible to interpret without a lawyer, and Facebook is directly acknowledging this. “We agree that privacy policies can and should be more easily understood, and that inspired us to try something different.” And while Facebook hasn’t amended its policy, it breaks down exactly how it accumulates user data and where it goes from there.

This is currently a work in process, and one that hasn’t been officially adopted as part of the permanent Facebook handbook. It’s admittedly more user friendly, but something tells us Facebook is going to continue to find itself mired in privacy concerns. But now its accusers will be better informed.

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