Facebook Terms & Policy Update – What does it mean for your data?

Facebook Privacy Basics

If you have a Facebook account you may have noticed a little icon pop up in the top right of your account making you aware about the latest Facebook terms and policy changes.  Most people tend to ignore these small changes but it is always worth noting how recent changes affect who owns your data.

The latest changes on Facebook attempt to make it clearer who has access to your data and how.  The big changes are mainly in the area of tracking data on your mobile device.  So if you are a mobile user your usage statistics including GPS data will now be stored against your Facebook account.  Also included in this recent update is a log of websites you have visited whilst you are logged into Facebook.  This information is collected and used to help advertisers target advertisements that are more relevant to your interests.  Whilst this information has been collected in the past it hasn’t been as clear what it was being used for.

If you don’t want Facebook to know where you have been and when, the advice online is to use the web version of Facebook rather than the Facebook app.  This way you keep your location data private when you are out and about.

What can we do to help you manage your data?

SocialSafe which is transitioning to Digi.Me can help you manage and store your social media content including your Facebook data. At the end of the day your data belongs to you and as such we provide you with the tools to take a copy of your data from Facebook (along with many other data sources) and store it locally so that you have your data on your computer. This means that if there is an outage on Facebook or you decide that you no longer wish to use a social media provider you can download a copy of your data including your images and status updates.  You no longer have to lose those all important moments that you once shared with friends, family and colleagues.  Give SocialSafe a try today by clicking on the link below. It’s free and puts you in control of your data! (Plus there is so much more you can do with your data when you have it all to yourself!)

Try SocialSafe

Facebook Outages Reported – How To Access Your Data Offline

There have been user reports of Facebook outages in the United States, Brazil, Tunisia and other locations. People first had trouble logging in from around 4:30pm PST, and it wasn’t until 8:00pm PST that Facebook finally seemed to be stable again in the problem areas.

As usual when one particular social network experiences problems, the users turn to another to vent their frustrations. Unsurprisingly, Twitter was the forum for people to make their voices heard. Some tweets took a shot at Facebook itself, with many posts along the lines of “Facebook is down. Just like its stock price”, while one user made the tongue in check observations that as “Facebook goes down, U.S. workforce productivity suddenly spikes for the first time since 2004“.

While for some people it may be a source of humour or a minor inconvenience, for those whose businesses heavily rely on Facebook this could pose a serious problem. Not being able to access a brand page or being unable to find crucial contact information can be hugely problematic – especially if a situation is time-sensitive, as they so often are in business.

One step you can take to limit the impact any social network access issues have is to backup your content. There are various services out there that cater to different needs. SocialSafe is one such service that allows you to backup Facebook profiles and pages as well as Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Viadeo accounts. All of your data is available offline in a searchable journal, so if the network you rely on has its own problems, at least you’ll still have your own content at hand.

Facebook Blog About Privacy Re. 3rd Party Apps

In a blog post last Friday, Facebook went into quite some depth about the privacy of your data when it comes to connecting with third-party apps, and when users you are friends with connect with them. You can read the whole entry on the Facebook Privacy blog, but we’ll just cover a couple of points here.

Somewhat worryingly, it appears that even if you remove an app from your profile, they will still have all the data that you initially granted them access to, and they will only delete it if you contact them directly and explicitly ask them to do so. While Facebook can’t help you with this by asking them to delete it for you, they do ensure that apps are contractually obliged to delete data when requested.

However, it’s not just your own actions that you might want to be mindful of, as the Facebook Privacy blog explains:

“Your friend might also want to share the music you “like” on Facebook. If you have made that information public, then the application can access it just like anyone else. But if you’ve shared your likes with just your friends, the application could ask your friend for permission to share them.”

So essentially any information on your own profile that a friend can view is also accessible to any third-party apps that they use. Even though we’ve made this point recently, we’d just like to remind you that while SocialSafe allows you to backup your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media accounts, we never actually see nor store any of your data. There’s more about this in a separate blog that you can read here.