Facebook’s Latest “You Are The Product” Message: We Will, We Will, Sell You

Author

Helen A.S. Popkin

November 14, 2014

Facebook’s latest iteration of its privacy policy is both the shortest and clearest so far about what it means to do with your personal information: Squeeze it for all the money it’s worth. 

Your privacy settings won’t be changing, the social network explained Thursday in a blog post. But its rules for using your location and payment information (when that service is added) are getting an update to accommodate its expanding empire.

To augment—if not distract from—this reminder that it owns its users, Facebook simplified its privacy settings with color-coding and a “Privacy Basics” tutorial.  

From the Facebook blog post:

We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends. We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.

While couched in the language of “friends,” this is actually about targeted advertising. If Facebook knows exactly where you are, it know, it knows exactly which advertisements for local establishments to show you. 

See also: Mark Zuckerberg’s Mythic T-Shirt And Fake Silicon Valley Do-Goodery

Soon too, Facebook will be able to help you spend that money by tapping into your wallet with those targeted ads:

In some regions, we’re testing a Buy button that helps people discover and purchase products without leaving Facebook. We’re also working on new ways to make transactions even more convenient and secure.

Facebook’s new data policy is where you’ll find the explanation on the information collected when you buy something through the social network. This includes:

… your credit or debit card number and other card information, and other account and authentication information, as well as billing, shipping and contact details.

And more targeted advertising ensues. 

In keeping with Facebook’s 2011 settlement with the Federal Communications Commission, in which the social network agreed to give everyone a heads up on privacy changes, you’ve got seven days to comment on these changes. 

Lead image by mwichary

Great ! Thanks for your subscription !

You will soon receive the first Content Loop Newsletter