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Facebook Parent Meta redesigns privacy policy to make it easy to understand for users

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: On Thursday, Meta Platforms Inc, the parent company of Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, announced that it has ‘rewritten and rewritten its privacy policy completely for ease of understanding, including the terms of services, effective from July 26. Meta said the privacy policy now has shorter sentences, simple language, and “more detailed explanations” on how the social media network is using and sharing information with third parties.

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The company said, “The last three years have brought a number of changes to the privacy landscape as a whole, including to peoples’ desire to better understand how their data is being used.”

Meta said that the redesign does not change any of the social network’s existing data collection and sharing practices. The new privacy policy will be linked to the privacy center where users can learn about the company’s privacy practices across apps and technologies. Meta said it will keep adding guides and controls to the privacy center in the coming months.

Meta has also updated its Terms of Service to make it easier for users to understand how the community guidelines work so they are better informed about the practices that can lead to termination or suspension of their accounts.The human right to privacy relates to an individual’s ability to determine when, how, and for what purpose others, including companies, handle their personal information.

Protecting privacy is essential to ensuring dignity, safety and confidence. It allows individuals to choose how their data is used and freely develop their personalities without any worries of misuse.

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Meta said it will start sending notifications on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger to ensure users are aware of the update, which will come into effect from July 26. The update will apply to Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger apps. It won’t apply on the company’s other platforms such as WhatsApp, Workplace, Messenger Kids, or Quest devices as they have their separate privacy policies.

This isn’t the first time Meta has updated the design of the privacy policy to make it clearer. In 2018, Facebook updated it to make its terms and data policy clearer to users. Making privacy policy pages “concise, transparent, intelligible, and easily accessible” for the benefit of social media users has been one of the key mandates of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, India’s proposed data protection bill doesn’t specifically ask for it.

Privacy experts have also emphasized the importance of a clearer privacy policy as it helps users understand how their data is being used and enables them to make informed choices.

Early this month, when Twitter announced its new privacy policy, it also emphasized that the objective of the update was to move away from legal jargon in favor of a clear language. Twitter also released an online game called Data Dash to gamify the process and simplify the “more complex parts of the privacy policy.”

Rob Sherman, deputy chief privacy officer at Facebook acknowledged in a media call that most privacy policy is a dense wall of text that isn’t actually that readable and hard to fully understand. “With this update, we have made our privacy policy easier to understand. We rewrote it, bringing language from college level to secondary school. We used short sentences, bold colors and images to brighten up the text,” he added.

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Sherman further said, “We have conducted a series of global consultations with privacy experts, policymakers, and users to get feedback on how to make our policies more useful for people who use our products. These updates are based on that feedback.”

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