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Facebook's got a new privacy policy, and it plans to share your data with other sites
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Facebook’s got a new privacy policy, and it plans to share your data with partners

As Facebook's new privacy policy comes into force users can expect more sharing of their data and 'enhanced' targeting of adverts across partnered websites.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock / HadrianLate last year you may recall receiving a message from Facebook saying that its privacy policy was set to change again.

But can you remember when the new policy was due to come into effect?

Well, it’s already arrived and, if you have logged into your account at any point since its implementation on Friday, you’ve already agreed to its terms and conditions.

The new policy, which applies to European users of the social network, contains some interesting changes which have already drawn criticism.

Someone that’s particularly worried about the changes is Johannes Caspar, the privacy regulator in Hamburg, Germany, who has questioned whether Facebook’s policy change breaches German law.

One area of the new policy that is particularly concerning for Caspar is the sharing of users’ personal data with partnered sites and apps – which allows for the delivery of targeted ads on external websites and mobile devices.

I think it's problematic that Facebook wants to exchange user data between all of its various units, including WhatsApp and Instagram. I will coordinate with my various European colleagues to see what action may be needed.

As Caspar says, WhatsApp is one of those partnered apps.

Back in March 2014, the company’s co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum, wrote an impassioned piece on the WhatsApp blog, highlighting his upbringing during the KGB years of the former Soviet Union.

As a result of his experience, he said, WhatsApp would never collect or share any more user data than was absolutely essential and the deal with Facebook would never be allowed to derail that vision.

Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible... If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn't have done it.

I guess things change over time, eh?

The latest changes to what Facebook has described as its “plain English” privacy policy mean that the social giant now has a plethora of data from a variety of sources, including everything you share about yourself when you sign up, your location, browsing habits, who your friends and family are, the devices you use and a history of what you’ve bought online.

Facebook’s terms and conditions clearly state that it does not share personally identifiable information but, if you have concerns about the organisation and its partners sharing that level of knowledge among themselves for advertising purposes, or simply having it at all, then your options are fairly limited.

The only way real way to avoid the advertising behemoth that Facebook has become is to delete your account altogether. You can do this via and follow the on-screen instructions.

But, if you’re not yet ready to part with Facebook completely, you might like to learn what the company knows about you. When logged in, click the arrow on the top right of any page, go to Settings and then select ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’ from the General Account Settings.

And, if you’re concerned about what information you’re giving away to other Facebook users, it’s worth taking a look at the Privacy Basics. From here you can change your settings to alter what other people can see about you, how other users may interact with you and, also, what you see yourself.

Image of Facebook share courtesy of Hadrian / Shutterstock.


Too many companies now, in my opinion, have too much of people’s personal information. Google knows a thing or two about collecting as much personal information from you as possible as well. Although, it seems to most people this does not matter. Millions of people are seemingly fine with handing over their personal details etc as long as they get a good, popular and most of all free service given to them, of which Facebook and Google both provide.

Personally, I think companies like Facebook and Google (there are many more, but these are the two main ones in my opinion) obtain and use far too much of people’s personal information. But at the end of the day, it’s the people themselves that agree and hand over this information.

It’s surprising how many people are either fine with giving everything away or are completely oblivious to it all.


I totally agree. Seems like some of the younger generation has no concept of privacy at all and would stand in line to give it all away.


The answer of course is to pay for services with money instead of personal information. Facebook need a paid ad free “we won’t share anything with anyone ever” option. So do twitter and google.


I’m usually not concerned unless my name and address are personally identifiable, but how they know where I live through my IP address, I don’t know how that all works. What I do find funny is that if I buy something online, I get targeted ads for the product I just bought, so something isn’t working in this Al Gore Rhythm.


There are so many ways to protect your privacy these days there’s no need to rely on any company to do it for you.

AdBlock Plus will block all ads, you can also block their whitelisted ads by unchecking the box “Allow unobtrusive ads”. If there are no ads on your FB page they won’t make any money off you.

Use Facebook Purity, will force your News Feeds to appear in the order you receive them, among many other useful options. You decide how your page looks not FB.

Ghostery or a similar program will remove all 3rd party cookies that follow you everywhere you go on the web. Don’t check the box which will allow your movements to be shared with Ghostery, even though Anonymously because they sell the information on to ad companies. Ghostery also disables social plugins, FB connect and double click, Google analytics, and thats just an example.If there’s a web page you visit on a regular basis you have the option to whitelist that page.

Don’t log in to other sites using your FB details keep it completely separate, it may be inconvenient to have separate passwords for every page you visit but it is necessary if you care about your privacy. Use a password manager, there are plenty of them and most are free to use.

More and more people are using VPN’s these days to protect their privacy. If you decide to do the same don’t use one thats based in your own country because they are subject to local laws.

It’s up to you to protect your privacy not rely on some company to do it, who do not care about what is good for you.


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