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Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Facebook Outlines Privacy Measures Towards GDPR

Facebook is introducing new privacy measures for everyone on Facebook as part of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including updates to the company's terms and data policy, with the company to require people to accept targeted ads as a condition of using its service.

Everyone - no matter where they live - will be asked to review important information about how Facebook uses data and make choices about their privacy on Facebook, the company said. These choices will begin to roll out in Europe this week.

The EU law, which takes effect next month, promises the biggest shakeup in online privacy since the birth of the internet. Companies face fines if they collect or use personal information without permission.

Facebook said the social network would begin seeking Europeans' permission this week for a variety of ways Facebook uses their data, but he said that opting out of targeted marketing altogether would not be possible, as Facebook is an advertising-supported service.

Facebook users will be able to limit the kinds of data that advertisers use to target their pitches, but all ads on Facebook are targeted to some extent, and that's true for offline advertising, as well, Facebook added.

Facebook will show European users pages filled with text that require pressing a button to advance - to notify and obtain approval. The screens will show up on the Facebook website and smartphone app in Europe this week and globally in the coming months.

The screens will not give Facebook users the option to hit "decline." Instead, they will guide users to either "accept and continue" or "manage data setting."

Facebook will ask users to make choices about:

  • Ads based on data from partners. Ads on Facebook are more relevant when Facebook uses data from partners, like websites and apps that use business tools such as the Like button. Facebook will ask people to review information about this type of advertising, and to choose whether or not they want Facebook to use data from partners to show them ads.
  • Information in their profile. If you've chosen to share political, religious, and relationship information on your profile, Facebook will ask you to choose whether to continue sharing and letting us use this information. Including this information on your profile is completely optional. Facebook says it is making it easier for people to delete it if they no longer want to share it.
  • Allowing face recognition technology. Facebook's is now giving people in the EU and Canada the choice to turn on face recognition. Using face recognition is optional for anyone on Facebook.

Facebook will also ask people to agree to the company's updated terms of service and data policy, which include more detail in response to questions about how Facebook's services work. "We're not asking for new rights to collect, use or share your data on Facebook, and we continue to commit that we do not sell information about you to advertisers or other partners," said Ashlie Beringer, VP and Deputy General Counsel, Facebook.

Regulators, investors and privacy advocates are watching how Facebook plans to comply with the EU law.

Last month, Facebook disclosed that the personal information of millions of users, mostly in the United States, had wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, leading to U.S. congressional hearings and worldwide scrutiny of Facebook's commitment to privacy.

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