The move could pave the way for the company to use information about you even if you're outside of the Facebook network -- for instance, via an ad network.
It also is triggering speculation that the move is linked to serving up more ads when a user is outside the Facebook network.
The changes also meet a recommendation by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which audited Facebook's data practices in 2011. Here's what Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan had to say about the new policy:
We're adding more examples and detailed explanations to help you understand our policies. For example, we include additional tips, marked with a light bulb so you can find them easily. We've added new links to our Help Center. We created a new section explaining how we use "cookies" and similar technologies and updated the corresponding explanations about cookies in our Help Center. We also provide more information about how we use data to operate Facebook, to advertise, and to promote safety and security for Facebook users. These examples and explanations are designed to help you understand what the Data Use Policy means in practice.