Facebook Pushes Out Data-Use Policy Prior to IPO

Posted by George Prentice on Sat, May 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM

In a run-up to Facebook's initial public offering - which experts predict could rake in nearly $10 billion - the social network is about to launch a major media blitz to inform its users on how it uses their personal data.

Beginning next week, Facebook will be pushing out special notices to its 900 million users on how it collects people's data and how long it keeps the information. Facebook's chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, said the company wasn't "substantially changing its business practices but wants to err on the side of providing too much information."

One of the changes is that Facebook is creating a new online section to explain how it uses technologies such as cookies to deliver advertising. Another of the changes, which was rolled out last September, already reorganizes profile pages in a "timeline format" and "activity log." Additionally, Facebook is now retaining data "for as long as it is necessary to provide services" up to approximately 180 days.

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