Privacy, at least on Facebook, is dead. Long live Data Use!
Zuckerberg’s stance on privacy has been well documented, such as the video of him saying privacy is no longer a social norm. What better way of making that happen than to actually change the way people talk about the subject? We aren’t talking about keeping your information private, we’re just talking about what data can be used by the platform. It’s almost akin to casinos making you play with chips–they’re just colorful circles of fired clay, not real money.
All this came from the latest round of changes Facebook has proposed to their terms. You can see the modifications yourself in this tracked changes PDF. Facebook has an official blog post about some of the changes, including fixing all those references to that old named policy. But if you’re curious, here are some of the other changes I found interesting:
- 3.7. Previous terms banned content that was hateful, now the prohibition is on posts that are hate speech. That will likely bring it in line with laws that cover the topic and take some of the problem of Facebook applying inconsistent methodologies. We’ll see how they actually enforce this rule on content that is hate speech in one country but not another.
- 3.11. They have added a prohibition to modifying the appearance of Facebook pages. You know what shows up in Facebook pages that people like to remove? Ads. Yeah, now the ad blockers are violating Facebook’s terms.
- 5.6. Have added “Book” to the list of trademarks that you will not use in a way that could confuse someone. So you should start reading more graphic novels, just to be safe.
- 6.3. Remember some of the complaints that if you added your phone number to Facebook then the mobile app might have synched it to all those other apps or given it to your friends? Well, now you’re providing consent to all those apps. Not sure why you were putting that number on Facebook to begin with if that wasn’t the case.
- 10. Added “commercial content” to ads as paid materials. Paving the way for paid-for posts and news items from companies which we all knew were coming with the IPO.
There are other changes, but they are similarly minor. I find the overall theme of moving the discussion away from Privacy the most interesting part of these changes, but whether Facebook will successfully re-frame this issue is something we’ll see over time.