Facebook adds to privacy policy

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Company will overhaul privacy agreement, third party access.

Facebook has announced a new project which will update the social networking site's privacy policies.

The company said that the new policies would be integrated over the next twelve months and will aim to give users a clearer understanding of their privacy settings and better control over what information can be shared with third party software vendors.

The new policies came at the recommendation of Canada's Privacy Commissioner's Office, which spent upwards of a year reviewing Facebook's privacy controls.

Amongst the new measures being put into place will be an overhaul of the Privacy Policy statement itself. The new terms will aim to better describe Facebook's policies on collecting personal information, as well as clearer descriptions for the process of deactivating and deleting user accounts.

Additionally, the company is planning to give users greater control over what information can be collected and used by third party developers. The new system will require third-party applications to expressly identify what information will be collected and require user permission before any information is gathered.

"We strongly believe that the changes to the permission model for third-party applications will give users more confidence in Platform and will, thus, help ensure the long-term health and vitality of the ecosystem that has grown around Platform," said Ethan Beard, Facebook director of platform product marketing.

"We will be communicating regularly with developers about the changes and we’re going to take our time to make sure the outcome is something users understand and that developers have ample time and notice to adapt."

The new policies come on the heels of a lawsuit filed in California by several users over the site's policies on collecting and sharing personal information.

Facebook said that it will be implementing the new policies over the next twelve months, pending user and developer notification.

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