Facebook Rewrites Its Privacy Policy In Non-Technical Jargon, Allows Developers to Request Phone Numbers & Street Addresses

Facebook Privacy - New policy update and phone number, address requests for appsBack in December of 2010 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a privacy inquiry of Facebook.  Since then, Facebook has responded to the Department’s request and in their 26-page letter they stated that “what users need is not more information, but clearer and more meaningful information.”  As a result, Facebook is now testing out a new way to explain their privacy policies.


The new Facebook privacy comes in a beta-test style, while they leave their official policy still openly available.  After taking a look myself, I have to agree; the new privacy policy is written in a way that is much easier to understand.  However, it is still A LOT to read, and I can’t imagine the common Facebook user would be bothered with going through such a huge series of privacy pages.  Not to mention, this new policy only improves understandability–Facebook hasn’t changed or improved the privacy policy in the favor of their users at all.

facebook's new privacy policy

In fact, Facebook just announced that they will be add new “functionality” that will disclose both phone numbers and street addresses to developers.  Users still see the application permission request box where it will specifically mention this information being shared, but I can’t imagine that everyone reads those either.

request permission to access contact information and phone number

Overall, Facebook is off to a good start at attempting to make their privacy policy easier to understand for the average Joe.  But, the new navigation and complexity of their policy makes it more difficult to read through; the old policy is superior in readability despite its technical jargon.  It is also apparent that although Facebook wants to look like they are educating users on privacy, it is not willing to improve their privacy policy to keep users from losing their information to advertisers, government agencies, and developers.

What do you think about the new changes?  Do you prefer the new policy or the old one?



  1. Autumn

    February 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Well I have been a FB member approx 4 years. I am female, mid 50’s college educated. I am also a privacy junkie. The only reason I joined FB was to see if I could find all of my younger cousins, since all of our parents died when all of us were quite young. It took awhile, but I did find them. We caught up, etc. FB has served its purpose. I do not do apps. I enjoy the interior design pages as well as real estate pages; just for fun. However I can live without them. Every week 2 or 3 times I check all of my privacy settings and at least 50% of the time they have been reset to default settings. That said I have had enough. It just is not worth it. Also If I had teenagers there is no way they would have a FB page EVER.

  2. Emily

    October 27, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I have repeatedly tried to delete my fb account “permanently” but after months it is still there to reactivate! I have had two bade stalking experiences on fb, and people posting my pictures to my friends who they got from my page.

    There is no privacy, no way to control fb. It is DANGEROUS.

    All of us need to get together and stop this corporate identity ripoff before many more people commit suicide. There have been too many already.

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