Meta has updated the privacy policies of Facebook and Instagram, in an effort to simplify and make it easier to understand how the company utilizes its customers’ information. 

This development comes amidst intense criticism by regulators and campaigners over Meta’s alleged misuse of user data.

WhatsApp and other Meta-owned products have been excluded in the update.

A new setting will provide users more control over who can see their posts. Moreover,  existing controls over which ads users can see are placed in a single interface.

The tech giant is also providing more details about the kinds of third parties with whom it gives and receives information, and how data is shared amongst its products.

Meta is also updating its terms of service.

Users need not do anything in response to the policy updates. However, according to Meta,  individuals who do not want to accept these changes “are free to leave our services”.

The changes will roll out on July 26. 

Stephanie Hare, author of Technology Is Not Neutral: A Short Guide to Technology Ethics, welcomed the effort of Meta to provide more transparency – but said most users would simply click through and move on.

“Their bet is that most users have accepted this bargain – they have priced in a privacy trade-off for social connection, convenience, fun and business – so this announcement functions to neutralize criticism about surveillance capitalism.”

“So who is this really for – users or the regulators?” she asked.