Facebook changes its terms and clarify its use of data for consumers following discussions with the European Commission and consumer authorities

facebook eu data .png

(William Iven, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, the European Commission and consumer protection authorities have welcomed Facebook’s updated terms and services. They now clearly explain how the company uses its users’ data to develop profiling activities and target advertising to finance their company.

The new terms detail what services, Facebook sells to third parties that are based on the use of their user’s data, how consumers can close their accounts and under what reasons accounts can be disabled. These developments come after exchanges, which aimed at obtaining full disclosure of Facebook’s business model in a comprehensive and plain language to users.

Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality welcomed the agreement: “Today Facebook finally shows commitment to more transparency and straight forward language in its terms of use. A company that wants to restore consumers trust after the Facebook/ Cambridge Analytica scandal should not hide behind complicated, legalistic jargon on how it is making billions on people’s data. Now, users will clearly understand that their data is used by the social network to sell targeted ads. By joining forces, the consumer authorities and the European Commission, stand up for the rights of EU consumers.”

In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and as a follow-up to the investigation on social media platforms in 2018, the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities requested Facebook to clearly inform consumers how the social network gets financed and what revenues are derived from the use of consumer data. They also requested the platform to bring the rest of its terms of service in line with EU Consumer Law.

As a result, Facebook will introduce new text in its Terms and Services explaining that it does not charge users for its services in return for users’ agreement to share their data and to be exposed to commercial advertisements. Facebook’s terms will now clearly explain that their business model relies on selling targeted advertising services to traders by using the data from the profiles of its users.

In addition, following the enforcement action, Facebook has also amended:

–      its policy on limitation of liability and now acknowledges its responsibility in case of negligence, for instance in case data has been mishandled by third parties;

–      its power to unilaterally change terms and conditions by limiting it to cases where the changes are reasonable also taking into account the interest of the consumer;

–      the rules concerning the temporary retention of content which has been deleted by consumers.  Such content can only be retained in specific cases – for instance to comply with an enforcement request by an authority – and for a maximum of 90 days in case of technical reasons;

–      the language clarifying the right to appeal of users when the their content has been removed.

Next steps

Facebook will complete the implementation of all commitments at the latest by the end of June 2019. The Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation network will closely monitor the implementation.

If Facebook does not fulfil its commitments, national consumer authorities could decide to resort to enforcement measures, including sanctions.

Background

The EU Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation links national consumer authorities in a pan-European enforcement network. On that basis, a national authority in one EU country can request the assistance of their counterpart in another EU country to stop a cross-border infringement of EU consumer law.

The Consumer Protection Cooperation Network carried out a joint assessment of Facebook’s terms of service under the coordination of the French Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) and asked the company, as well as Twitter and Google+ to improve a number of contract terms.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

UNESCO experts ready to assist reconstruction of iconic Notre Dame, following devastating blaze

8 amazing facts to help you understand China today

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

One for all? Are physicians prepared to deliver care to the LGBTQIA+ community?

5 key concepts for blockchain newbies

COVID-19: EU helps deliver vaccines to Kosovo

Zimbabwe facing man-made starvation, says UN expert

Take medical use of cannabis seriously, say MEPs

Africa-Europe Alliance: two new financial guarantees under the EU External Investment Plan

Election 2019: New, Updated seat projection for new Parliament

A new roadmap for corporate climate governance

China greenlights first underwater high-speed railway

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

Here’s how to make ‘value-based healthcare’ a reality

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

This brand is recycling underwear – here’s why

U-turns on Global Compact ‘reflect poorly’ on countries concerned: senior UN migration official

Jellyfish are taking over the world – and climate change could be to blame

How to get young people in Europe to swipe right on voting

Medical Devices Regulation: Commission welcomes Council support to prioritise the fight against coronavirus

The EU and North Korea: A Story of Underestimation

EU leaders prepare timetable and structure for EU budget negotiations

Can I still send mail in the time of coronavirus?

‘Negative developments’ undermining two-State solution in Middle East

Iraq: Security Council told ‘despair’ has ‘given way to hope’ but road to stability ‘long and far from easy’

Commission disburses €14.1 billion under SURE to 12 Member States

Ireland: prepare now for rising fiscal pressures, external risks

Access still an obstacle to reaching stricken communities on Indonesian island: UN agencies

Northern Bahamas ravaged by ‘disaster of epic proportions’ as UN releases $1 million in emergency funds

Impressions of China

Central Africa Republic: Violence drives thousands of refugees into neighbouring DR Congo, says UN agency

Timor-Leste Foreign Minister highlights value of UN in resolving conflicts

UN food agency begins ‘last resort’ partial withdrawal of aid to opposition-held Yemeni capital

Human rights are ‘key’ for economic policymaking says UN expert

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

EU-UK relations: solutions found to help implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland

This interactive map could help you discover a new species

This is how companies are working together to create a world without waste

The US may be “open” to reviving TTIP, while the EU designs the future of trade with China

EU strengthens support to speed up vaccination in the Eastern Partnership region

Manufacturing is finally entering a new era

Alexandre in Czech Republic

Greenpeace’s saints and sinners in the tech world

Sassoli: Meals for homeless and key workers a “good example of Parliament’s public spirit”

Is history a new NATO weapons against Russia?

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

EU steps up aid for Lebanon – European Commissioner for Crisis Management in Beirut

What the global Internet’s stakeholders can learn from Europe’s new data law

MEPs: Juan Guaidó is the legitimate interim President of Venezuela

3 dynamics shaping the future of security on the Korean peninsula

Bundestag kick starts the next episode of the Greek tragedy

At Arab League Summit, Guterres reaffirms strong link between UN and people of Arab world

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

Pandemics are here to stay. Here’s how to prepare for the next one

Nicaragua: MEPs demand the repeal of punitive laws against the opposition

Women in video games: ‘Accept it, or don’t buy the game’

Greece begins a new chapter following the conclusion of its stability support programme

How climate change exacerbates the refugee crisis – and what can be done about it

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s