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Facebook Retools Privacy Policy For Targeted Ads; Users Have Seven Days To Comment

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Facebook is revamping its privacy policy, exchanging some of the legal jargon for plain, simple examples of how users can delete their profiles, how long “backup copies” of personal data get stored, and how some of their new data partnerships with companies like Nielsen might impact the ads users see. This follows the social net’s overhaul of users’ privacy settings this summer; the goal was to make them easier to use (though, I still haven’t received the homepage notice explaining how to use them that the company said it would be sending out to everyone).

Facebook has had to learn the hard way, that it’s best to be transparent when making major changes to its ad platform — particularly as it pertains to the use of member data — so it’s also serving up a portion of the new privacy policy for member review.

Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s VP of communications and public policy, explained that the company wants to offer advertisers better conversion tracking; this means the company will need to share more than just the thumbs up vs. thumbs down and standard click-through stats it currently offers advertisers. While the company will anonymize any user data it shares with advertisers, the new policy informs users that they can opt-out of being cookied.

Other changes include the notification that users who set their profiles as viewable to “Everyone” will have that data crawled by the search engines — this includes their wall posts and news feeds — likely as a result of the new data-sharing deal with Microsoft’s Bing. TechCrunch also highlights another change — that if users include location info in their status updates, that info will be subject to Facebook’s overall data-sharing policies. This means that if a user hasn’t restricted their profile to select viewers, their location info could be shared with location-aware apps and services in the future.