Facebook simplifies its privacy policy

25 Feb 2011

Facebook has revamped its privacy policy in order to remove complicated legal jargon and make it easier for people to read.

Facebook pointed out it has not changed any information within the policy, but just made it easier to read than before.

“Our own privacy policy has been criticised as being ‘5,830 words of legalese’ and ‘longer than the US constitution – without the amendments.’ OK, you’re right. We agree that privacy policies can and should be more easily understood, and that inspired us to try something different,” said Facebook in its blog entry.

The language used is much simpler and contains screenshots of the relevant tools referred to within the policy.

Information is segmented, so users can drill into topics they wish to read about in smaller chunks.

The policy contains links to where users can change privacy settings beside where the setting in question has been discussed.

There are also links to additional information elsewhere. 

The simplification of the privacy policy seems to be another step for Facebook in helping users have greater control their privacy. The social network has drawn a lot of controversy with regards to privacy, such as its setting which let third-party apps access users’ home addresses and comments CEO Mark Zuckerberg made last year about the ‘death of privacy’.

After taking a quick look at it, the privacy policy does seem to be a lot easier to digest than before. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s a step in the right direction to help the average Facebook user find out who can access their information and who can’t.

The new policy style is currently just a trial, and if users like it, Facebook could keep it as its official policy.