Facebook changes conditions to make data use more transparenter

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Facebook has changed its terms and conditions for the first time in three years. The new text should make it clearer to users what data the social network collects, who gets access to that data and what Facebook uses it for.

Facebook does not ask for new rights and leaves all privacy settings as they were, the company emphasizes. The amended terms and conditions should only be clarifying for users of the social network.

In the terms and conditions, Facebook explains, among other things, that it uses private data to compile the news feed and to make suggestions for pages. The American company also tells users that other services within the company, such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus, share data with each other.

The new terms were also necessary to explain features that have been added over the past three years, such as live video, 360-degree visuals and Marketplace, Facebook says. The move comes at a time when Facebook is embroiled in a privacy scandal involving the misuse of the data of 50 million Facebook users. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will therefore appear before Congress next week.

In addition, Facebook has confirmed that it scans private messages for content that breaks the platform’s rules, Bloomberg reports. The company mentions photos of child pornography as an example, but Facebook also scans text messages in addition to photos and videos. This is done with automated tools. If they detect a possible violation of the rules, people will look at the messages.

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