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Facebook owner Meta updates privacy policy

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Users of Facebook, Messenger and Instagram will start to receive notifications about the changes from Thursday (PA) (PA Archive)
Users of Facebook, Messenger and Instagram will start to receive notifications about the changes from Thursday (PA) (PA Archive)

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has updated its privacy policies to make them “easier to understand”, with alerts about the changes to begin arriving on Thursday.

The company said the changes “don’t allow Meta to collect, use or share your data in new ways”, but would help it be “clearer about how we use your information”.

The tech giant has previously been criticised by campaigners and legislators over its collecting and handling of personal data.

Users of Facebook, Messenger and Instagram will start to receive notifications about the changes from Thursday, with Meta confirming the new policy will take effect on July 26.

Our goal with this update is to be more clear about our data practices; one way we’ve done this is through additional details and examples throughout

Michel Protti, Meta's chief privacy officer for product

Alongside the changes, Meta confirmed it was rolling out two new controls to help users better control their privacy settings – a tool that sets who can see a user’s post by default and existing controls over what adverts a user sees on Facebook and Instagram have been consolidated into a single feature.

“Our goal with this update is to be more clear about our data practices; one way we’ve done this is through additional details and examples throughout,” Meta’s chief privacy officer for product, Michel Protti, said in a blog post.

“At Meta, we’ve always set out to build personalised experiences that provide value without compromising your privacy.

“So, it’s on us to have strong protections for the data we use and be transparent about how we use it.

“That includes communicating more clearly about our data practices and the choices you have.”

The changes do not cover messaging platform WhatsApp and some other Meta products.

The updates come as greater regulation of the technology sector continues to move closer.

The Online Safety Bill, which is currently moving through Parliament, is set to legally require platforms to protect users from harmful content for the first time, with fines that could run into billions of pounds for larger companies and access to sites being blocked among the penalties for breaching the new rules.

A number of other countries and regions are also exploring stricter regulation for social media and other online platforms.

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