Facebook today proposed changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that will allow the company to share information with affiliates like Instagram and put an end to site governance voting, among other more minor changes.
New language about “affiliates” has been added to the Data Use Policy to cover Facebook’s relationship with Instagram, which it acquired this year. The proposed policy reads:
We may share information we receive with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that Facebook is part of, or that become part of that group (often these companies are called affiliates). Likewise, our affiliates may share information with us as well. We and our affiliates may use shared information to help provide, understand, and improve our services and their own services.
Even though Instagram is continuing to operate under its original brand rather than Facebook’s, the company is legally considered an affiliate and the two services can share information, for instance, to personalize a user’s experience or target ads.
The company is also looking to change a policy that it believes promotes quantity over quality feedback. In 2009 Facebook decided to give users the option to review proposed policy changes and then offer a vote if more than 7,000 users comment on those changes. This led to a situation where users copy-pasted the same comment over and over to trigger a vote on policy changes earlier this year. However, not enough users ended up voting to prevent Facebook’s proposal from going through, since results are only binding if at least 30 percent of users participate. Nonetheless, the entire situation was less than ideal and so Facebook is looking to remove the voting option completely.