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Facebook rolls out test version of simplified privacy policy

February 25, 2011 |  4:08 pm

Privacy In an attempt to make its complicated privacy policy easier for “regular people” to understand, Facebook on Friday showed off a “re-imagined” prototype.

The current policy is “5,830 words of legalese” that’s “longer than the U.S. Constitution -– without the amendments,” Facebook Site Governance admitted in a note on the social networking site.

Like the documents used by many other companies, Facebook’s privacy rules seem like they’re written for regulators and specialists instead of for regular people, the company said.

The new test version takes the existing policy and repackages it with simpler language, more graphics and screenshots and links to videos and interactive tools. If it’s popular enough, Facebook said it may consider making it official.

On a single page, the policy is organized under short headings including “Your information and how it is used,” “How advertising works” and “Minors and safety.”

In comments under the post about the news, users debated the merits and flaws of the new look.

“This revision is a BIG STEP in the right direction,” wrote Laurie Lamberth, who said she had quit Facebook a year ago due in large part to security breaches when her friends used applications.

Facebook first allowed users to vote on and critique the privacy policy in 2009. But the site has faced heavy criticism from users, privacy watchdogs and policymakers in the past, pushing it to create a single control panel last year where users could adjust all their settings in one place.

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-- Tiffany Hsu

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