Facebook Asks You What You Think About Its Privacy Policy

On Friday, Facebook offered its users a sneak peak at a major overhaul in how the site intends to present its privacy policy, and asked whether they like the idea.

The facelift follows waves of criticism over user privacy on the site in the last year, including over the sheer length and density of the company’s official privacy policy, a document the company admitted is long, dense with legalese and too hard for average people to understand. It also follows a recent simplification of the privacy settings Facebook provides users who want to control how their information is used on the site.

The new online document throws out the old-style online privacy-policy document now in use at Facebook and many other companies—an all-text document that uses highly formal language that can be difficult to decipher and that requires users interested in a certain issue to hunt for references with keyword searches.

The new privacy policy format will, instead, incorporate more modern ideas about online communication and common site elements like FAQs and even Facebook’s own help center, where users can find easily information arranged by topic and get explanations in the sort of conversational language used by someone who actually wants to make themselves understood.

The company even created a visual that compares the visuals of the new and old formats.

Facebook said the planned changes do not extend to the site’s privacy policy itself, although the new format and push to clarity has led it to provide new and more complete explanations of certain policies, including about what information it collects and how it uses it and how advertisers are able target ads to users.

Representatives of Facebook said that if people like the new privacy-policy draft, the company will move forward and take it through its standard “notice and comment” process for policy changes at a later date.

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