The tutorials give users lessons about why they see the ads they see, how to control what other people see, and how to control the ways that other people interact with them.
But underneath the veneer of new, streamlined policies, it’s the same old Facebook: this is a company that takes users’ data and uses it to sell ads on its services.
To that end, this update includes a couple of new provisions. The first is a change to the company’s data policy that allows Facebook to collect payment data, which lines up with rumors that the company plans to get into the mobile payments space.
It’s fairly standard stuff: in order to handle processing transactions, Facebook has to know certain financial information. (And the company certainly doesn’t mind having a record of the transaction as a part of its treasure trove of data.)
Second – and this probably won’t thrill users – the company’s new policy also allows for location-based advertising, so that people who check into locations on Facebook or share their location using Nearby Friends can get custom-tailored content sent to their news feeds. Here’s the full low-down on that change from Facebook:
Discover what’s going on around you: 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.
In addition to those changes, Facebook is also changing the way it handles tracking users around the web. Users who wanted to opt out of ad tracking outside of Facebook previously had to set up a special cookie on every browser that they used, and switch on certain privacy settings on their mobile devices. Now, someone who opts out of advertising tracking on one device will see those same settings transferred to their Facebook experience across all of their devices.
The company is soliciting comments from its users over the next week before these changes go into effect, but it seems unlikely that much will change between now and then.