Plain English update
The revised policy advises users to make full use of the social network's privacy settings and application settings to control how much information they share, and with who they share this information with. Facebook provides controls, but it is up to individuals to check and ensure that appropriate settings are in place.
Facebook is supported by ads but it promises users that it "will not share your information with advertisers without your consent", though it will allow advertisers "to select characteristics of users they want to show their advertisements to and we use the information users share with us to serve those advertisements".
One significant difference is that advertisers will be given more details about how their adverts perform. User data related to this will be "anonymised", Facebook promises.
The new policy was completely rewritten, so any changes are not marked as such. Based on user feedback, Facebook promised to publish a redline version with any future revision so users can more easily see what changes have been made in future editions of the policy.
Users who set their profile as viewable by everyone (the default setting) can expect search engines to index any content they upload.
More information on the revised policy can be found on the site governance section of Facebook's website here.
In related news, Facebook came under fire on Wednesday over allegations it had failed to implement child safety measures. Jim Gamble of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre criticised Facebook and MySpace for failing to follow Bebo's lead in including Ceop's "Report button" on pages, so that illegal content or online abuse might be more easily reported. Facebook said it already had a robust reporting system in place. The issue is covered in greater depth in our earlier story here. ®