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Facebook updates its privacy policy

TORONTO - Facebook has updated its privacy policy, with some changes based on recommendations filed by Canada's privacy commissioner.

TORONTO - Facebook has updated its privacy policy, with some changes based on recommendations filed by Canada's privacy commissioner.

Users are being given seven days to comment on the new policy document, which weighs in at more than 5,000 words. In the policy, Facebook says it will not share users' personal information with advertisers without consent.

But the popular social networking website may display ads on a user's profile based on "anonymized" information users willingly share.

Facebook is also elaborating more on the differences between deactivating and deleting an account, and what happens to an account after a user has died, which were issues raised by privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.

Deactiviting an account will temporarily hide a user's information but will not remove it from Facebook's servers.

Deleting an account will permanently remove it from the site, although it may take as long as 90 days for the account to be removed from backed up data.

The privacy policy now discloses that a deceased user's account may become "memorialized" if requested by family or friends.

A memorialized account is only viewable by confirmed friends and is scaled back to remove some personal information. The account remains intact so mourners can share their grief online but next of kin may also request that it be taken offline.

Stoddart had requested that Facebook update its privacy policy so users were better aware of what would happen to their personal information when using the site and after they died.

Facebook has more than 300 million active users worldwide, including about 12 million in Canada.

 
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