Private Enough

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Published: November 17, 2014 3:02:57 AM

Facebook can’t junk its revenue strategy to please privacy advocates

On the heels of well-publicised court battle with the US government over “requests” for user data, Facebook has now asked users for a feedback on proposed changes to its data and cookie policy and general terms of use. On the face of it, it seems the company wants an image-makeover, given it had invited user backlash over privacy controversies in the past—whether over a failed experiment on influencing users’ moods without their knowledge or the Instagram pictures’ ownership controversy.

There have been significant tweaks in the interest of safeguarding privacy but Facebook still retains a great say on the data it can sell or share. The social networking giant lets users choose if their data can be shared with third-party apps or not but keeps with itself the discretion over what data will be shared. It also makes it clear that it will mine users’ data for targeted advertisements on and off Facebook. While privacy advocates can still cry foul, it doesn’t seem that the company is doing anything outside the ‘new normal’. All the data mining is part of its larger ad revenue strategy for a service that it provides to the users for free. Besides, the company allows users to choose the ads they can see.

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