Friday, November 14, 2014

Facebook using animated dinosaur to explain new privacy policy

Photo: HANDOUT / New York Times
Facebook is using a blue dinosaur as the animated guide in a new education center that teaches users how to adjust their privacy settings.

The world’s largest social network unveiled the interactive education center, Privacy Basics, on Thursday. The center will use the dinosaur and other animated characters to help people work through the settings to adjust what their friends and advertisers see of their profiles.

“This new way of communicating with people, using animated cartoons, using a video format, we really hope this resonates with people and that they find it helpful,” Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said. “We’re doing this in response to a demand that the privacy policy be clearer.”

Facebook is increasing user outreach after years of lawsuits and confusion over how the company controls and displays the data that members provide. Updates like Privacy Basics, along with prompts this year for members to check their preferences for what advertisers see, help give people a measure of control over their content.

Photo: HANDOUT / New York Times
“The more we can be clear with people about their information and their privacy on Facebook, the more people feel comfortable on Facebook and the more time they spend on Facebook,” said Brian Boland, a vice president at the Menlo Park company. “That’s great for advertisers.”

Facebook is rare among Internet companies in that it seeks user input on its privacy policy and tries to put it in plain English. But it also has a vast trove of data about its users that it uses to show ads and measure how well they work, among other things.

Privacy Basics is designed to show users how to control what they share. Tips answer questions such as “How do I delete something I post on Facebook?” or “What do people who aren’t my friends see when they search for me?”

It also proposed changes to its terms and privacy policy, which it calls its data policy. The new policy is much shorter and lays out how Facebook collects data and what it does with it, among other things, in illustrated subsections.

Users will have seven days — until Thursday — to comment on the new policy and the final version will go into effect soon after that.

The move comes as Facebook is testing a tool that lets users buy things through its site, and expands its targeted ads based on users’ location. The new policy sets out that if people use Facebook to make a purchase, their credit card information will be collected. Meanwhile, the location information Facebook collects might include where you took a photo that you share on the site, or the location of your mobile device using GPS, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals.


A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 80 percent of Americans who use social networking sites are concerned about third parties, such as advertisers, accessing data that they share on the sites. At the same time, most are willing to share some information about themselves in exchange for using such services for free.

Source:- http://goo.gl/c9uEJ7

Sandeep Sharma

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