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Drunk on Friday night? Then YOU probably DIDN'T spot Facebook's privacy tweak

A good time to bury plain English ambiguous policy

Facebook updated its privacy policy on Friday – a day traditionally chosen by politicians and football managers who are keen to bury bad news.

While the planned tweakage was widely reported in November, the change came into effect on 30 January with little in the way of reaction from users [sorry, people] on the free-content ad network.

The Mark Zuckerberg-run company has been attacked by Hamburg's privacy regulator Johannes Caspar, however. He has been mulling over whether the policy changes breach German law, according to Bloomberg.

“I think it’s problematic that Facebook wants to exchange user data between all of its various units, including WhatsApp and Instagram,” Caspar told the news wire. “I will coordinate with my various European colleagues to see what action may be needed.”

The policy now states:

We receive information about you from companies that are owned or operated by Facebook, in accordance with their terms and policies.

The multi-billion dollar firm, which derives the vast majority of its revenue from advertising, is separately under investigation by the Dutch data cop shop.

It has expressed concerns about the use of personal data to target advertising. But Facebook dismissed the gripes by pointing out that it was answerable to Ireland's data watchdog, which has been accused of going easy on Zuck's siloed empire in the past.

There are some choice passages in the "What kinds of information do we collect?" section, for example:

We receive information about you and your activities on and off Facebook from third-party partners, such as information from a partner when we jointly offer services or from an advertiser about your experiences or interactions with them.

The latest privacy tweaks have been described by Facebook as a "plain English" policy for its users [sorry, people].

But as The Register previously noted, stripping the wording of its legalese gifts Facebook with plenty of wiggle room by being more ambiguous about what it's doing with your data.

Not that copper-haired boydroid Zuck – who once labelled early Facebookers "dumb fucks" for sharing their personal info on his network – would want you to see it that way. Hell no. ®

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