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Facebook to share more user data with advertisers

In a language Canadians can understand

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Facebook has rewritten its privacy policy to cut out legal jargon and has indicated it plans to broaden the types of user data it shares with advertisers.

The changes, announced by PR boss Elliot Schrage, suggest Facebook will give its paying customers more details about how their adverts perform. User data will be "anonymised", the new policy says.

"This information allows advertisers to do what is commonly called 'conversion tracking', which helps them measure the effectiveness of their ads and make them more relevant," Schrage wrote.

"Most advertisers already do this in other places on the web. Should Facebook provide this, we'll continue to respect your privacy by not sharing your information with advertisers, and we'll anonymize any information we receive."

Users who set their profile as viewable by everyone can also expect search engines to index wall posts and news feeds.

A third significant change signals Facebook's plan to exploit users' location.

"When you share your location with others or add a location to something you post, we treat that like any other content you post (for example, it is subject to your privacy settings). If we offer a service that supports this type of location sharing we will present you with an opt-in choice of whether you want to participate," the new policy states.

Schrage said the rewritten document is designed to satisfy the concerns of the Canadian privacy regulator, which has been sharply critical of its "confusing" and "incomplete" predecessor.

Facebook invited users to comment on the new policy for seven days before it is adopted. More here. ®

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