Personal DataFacebook’s terms now clarify its use of consumer data

Following a dialogue with the Commission and national consumer protection authorities, Facebook has now updated its terms and services to clearly state how it uses consumer data and to better comply with EU Consumer Law.

This includes insights on Facebook’s business model, such that it derives revenues from targeted advertising services being sold to third parties based on using the profile data from its users. While users do not have to pay for Facebook’s services, in turn they agree to share their data and to be exposed to commercial advertisements when signing up.

These further details were revised as well:

  • Liability: Facebook now recognizes its responsibility in case of negligence – that is when third parties misuse personal data.

  • Changing terms and conditions: Unilateral changes can only be imposed if they are reasonable and account for the interest of consumers.

  • Temporary retention of content deleted by consumers: Such content can only be retained by Facebook in specific cases, for instance when following an enforcement request by an authority, and for a maximum of 90 days.

  • Language: The use of comprehensive language to clarify users’ right to appeal when their content has been removed.

Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, commented: "Today Facebook finally shows commitment to more transparency and straight forward language in its terms of use. 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. By joining forces, the consumer authorities and the European Commission, stand up for the rights of EU consumers.”

Source: European Commission

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