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Commentary: Facebook has been too casual about data for too long

Author: Rebecca Mackinnon, Ranking Digital Rights, Financial Times, Published on: 5 April 2018

…Despite changes to its privacy policies, Facebook fundamentally has not changed…Facebook’s proposed revisions to its privacy policies and terms of service for the first time since 2015 include improved disclosure about how data are used across its services and how users can control the retention and deletion of information. While the company has simplified and clarified its explanation about what is shared with advertisers and how, the practices described have not changed much. Options for users to delete some types of information are provided, but people are not given more control over what information is collected about them in the first place…

...Facebook gets credit for undertaking human rights risk assessments related to government censorship and surveillance demands, and demonstrating transparency about how it handles those demands…Facebook is a good example of how policies that fail to give users meaningful control over their data, along with poor disclosure about policies affecting their rights, are a sign of serious underlying risks to users that must not be ignored...

Since 2015 our analysis has consistently found that Facebook has disclosed fewer details about how it handles users’ information than most of its peers. In fact, Facebook has given users fewer options to control what is collected about them, and how it is used, than any other company evaluated in our corporate accountability index — including two Chinese and two Russian companies…

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