Facebook Starts Asking Non-Europeans to Review Their Privacy Settings

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The same old Facebook, now with your consent...

While Facebook has avoided offering GDPR protections outside of the European Union, the social networking giant announced today asking non-EU users to review their privacy policies, as well. "Starting this week, we’re asking everyone on Facebook to review important information about privacy and how to control their experience," Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, wrote. "People have told us they want clearer explanations of what information we collect and how we use it."

In the coming weeks, Facebook will ask you to review details about the information that you share with the platform. Egan wrote that the company has updated its data policy, making it easier for users to find privacy controls.

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Users can now review details about advertising, face recognition, and information they’ve chosen to share in their profile. "We introduced a similar experience in the European Union as part of our preparation for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and now we’re making it available everywhere," Facebook added.

Users recommended to read the details before giving consent

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was criticized earlier this week for avoiding to answer tens of questions asked by the Members of the European Parliament. While the company continues to breeze through this mountain of criticism, it is at least helping the users around the globe to review their privacy settings. Whether this would actually encourage users to not just agree with everything and read the fine print and legalese amid the onslaught of emails that GDPR has resulted in is a question for another time.

It should be noted that while Facebook is asking everyone to review their settings, the European privacy protections and rights (such as the right to be forgotten) aren't being extended to users out of the EU.

Specifically, the company will present information and ask you to review:

  • How Facebook uses data from partners to show more relevant advertising
  • Sensitive information - political, religious, and relationship information - that you have chosen to share with the platform
  • How the company uses face recognition

GDPR is coming into effect tomorrow and threatens to fine the companies up to 4 percent of their annual global turnover or 20 million euros, whichever is higher. While GDPR has pushed the companies to be more upfront about the data they are collecting, it still depends on the user to read the fine print before agreeing to new policies and giving their consent.

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