Facebook wants to be extra clear about what it's gathering on you

New privacy policies don't let Facebook take more of your data, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg won't commit to extending all EU data protections to users worldwide.

Laura Hautala Former Senior Writer
Laura wrote about e-commerce and Amazon, and she occasionally covered cool science topics. Previously, she broke down cybersecurity and privacy issues for CNET readers. Laura is based in Tacoma, Washington, and was into sourdough before the pandemic.
Expertise E-commerce, Amazon, earned wage access, online marketplaces, direct to consumer, unions, labor and employment, supply chain, cybersecurity, privacy, stalkerware, hacking. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie Award for a single article in consumer technology
Laura Hautala
2 min read

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The company said its new data policy and terms of service won't let it collect more data about you.


Facebook introduced a new data policy and terms of service on Wednesday that aim to better explain the information it gathers on you, but the company says it isn't collecting anything new. 

"These updates are about making things clearer," wrote Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, and Ashley Beringer, deputy general counsel in a blog post about the updates. "We're not asking for new rights to collect, use or share your data on Facebook. We're also not changing any of the privacy choices you've made in the past."

Watch this: Find out what Facebook knows about you and take action

Those last two sentences are bolded in the blog post. It's no surprise the company would want to drive that point home. Facebook has received heaps of criticism for its role in transferring the data of 50 million of its users to Cambridge Analytica, as well as for its role in the spread of misinformation on its platform around the time of the 2016 election. The dual crises have prompted promises to do better on privacy and be more transparent about abuse on the platform from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other members of the company's leadership.

But while Facebook says it's not giving itself new power over your data, it's also not promising to give all of its users equal amounts of control over their own data. In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Zuckerberg declined to commit to giving Facebook users worldwide all of the new privacy protections the company is putting in place in Europe. 

Those European rights, which focus on the ability to view and permanently delete your own data, come as a result of European Union rules called the General Data Protection Regulation that go into effect on May 25. 

"We're still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing," Zuckerberg told Reuters. (Facebook did roll out tools for removing your data for all users last week.)

Facebook is collecting user feedback on its data policy as well as its updated terms of service for one week before making them official.

Watch this: Protect your data on Facebook

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