Privacy policies are killing me. Even Apple’s newly revised policy, which outlines what the iPhone maker will and will not do with information it collects from customers and users, is five webpages long. I stopped reading after page #3. My eyes were tired and my brain went on vacation.
Privacy policies for websites and applications are everywhere and mostly a dime a dozen. They were crafted by crafty lawyers to prevent the average user from paying attention to the fact they were signing over any and all rights to privacy (except those protected by law, and offhand, I don’t know of any laws which help citizens of the U.S. of A. stay protected).
Facebook is a different animal and perhaps the worst offender when it comes to protecting user privacy. Yes, worse than Google, though the search engine giant’s sphere of influence and data culling is more pervasive. In Europe, the so-called GDPR– General Data Protection Regulations— require Facebook to adhere to some rather severe privacy protections.
GDPR is a good thing.
Facebook’s U.S. and Canadian users are– or, were– governed by the company’s Terms of Service agreement through their international headquarters. In Ireland. Which is in Europe. Which is part of the E.U. For now. Europe is home to about 500-million of Facebook’s users and they will fall under the new GDPR. European companies can be fined by regulators if they collect and use personal data without user content.
Uh oh. Goodbye, Ireland connection.
We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland
I love the public relations legalese in the document Complying With New Privacy Laws and Offering New Privacy Protections to Everyone, No Matter Where You Live.
As soon as GDPR was finalized, we realized it was an opportunity to invest even more heavily in privacy. We not only want to comply with the law, but also go beyond our obligations to build new and improved privacy experiences for everyone on Facebook.
Translation: We have enough data on every human on earth to last decades.
Our face recognition features help protect your privacy and improve your experiences, like detecting when others might be attempting to use your image as their profile picture and allowing us to suggest friends you may want to tag in photos or videos.
Translation: Your face helps us to sell more advertising.
Beyond today’s announcements, we’ll keep improving. We’re committed to making sure people understand how we use their information and how they can control it.
As much as I appreciate Apple’s approach to customer and user privacy, the Facebook skirmish offers the company a New Privacy Opportunity but five pages seems to be more than most of the company’s 1.3-billion users will read.
How about this idea, Facebook and Apple? Everything we do is private unless we opt in and allow collection for specific data?
Good idea, right?