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Facebook, under EU pressure, updates its terms and conditions

Tuesday, 9 April, 2019 - 19:05

The European Commission (EC) has welcomed updates made by Facebook to its terms and conditions to better explain how it sells the personal data of its users to advertisers, bringing the Social media giant in line with Brussels’ demands.

The new wording will detail the services that Facebook sells to third parties, based on the data of its users, how consumers can close their accounts and for what can result in an account being deactivated.

In a statement published on its website, the Commission said that these changes were implemented following discussions between Brussels and Facebook, which aimed at providing a full disclosure of the social media company’s business model in plain language.

More than a year ago, in February 2018, the Commission and national consumer protection authorities urged Facebook to provide clear information on how it was financed and what revenues came from the exploitation of it users’ personal data.

“A company that wants to restore consumers trust after the Facebook/ Cambridge Analytica scandal should not hide behind complicated, legalistic jargon on how it is making billions on people’s data,” said Vera Jourová , Commissioner of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

“Facebook today finally shows its commitment to greater transparency and a direct language in its terms of use,” and from the new wording “users will clearly understand that the social network uses their data to sell targeted advertisements,” Jourová said.

According to the Commission, Facebook will explain that although it does not charge for its services, it does share its users data with third parties and expose them to commercial advertisements.

The Commission said that the US company will also modify its policy of limitation of liability to acknowledge its responsibility in cases of negligence, for example in cases where data has been mishandled by third parties.

Facebook has until the end of June 2019 to put the changes into effect or face or face sanctions by Member States.

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