By GEOFF THOMAS/Associated PressAUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s (FB.
O) new privacy rules that will govern how the social network handles users’ personal information have been adopted by U.S. lawmakers and U.K. regulators, but the changes are not expected to make Facebook a better place to work or socialize.
The changes, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, are part of a broader push by U,S.
regulators to make the social media giant a more welcoming place for tech workers and to better protect their personal information.
While Facebook’s privacy rules are aimed at helping users manage their personal data, they could also help businesses, and Facebook will be required to post notices about changes to its privacy policies to users before the new rules take effect, the Journal said.
The Wall Street Review first reported the privacy changes, which came on Friday.
The changes also require Facebook to provide an “opt-out” mechanism that would let users opt out of the new privacy guidelines.
Facebook is working on the changes after the European Union imposed new privacy regulations last year.
The rules, which took effect on Jan. 1, are designed to prevent companies from discriminating against people based on their personal details.
Privacy Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Friday that the rules are the right move.
Almunia told lawmakers in Brussels that the changes will help users feel confident about how their personal info is being used and is “a significant step towards protecting our users’ data.”
“The data we collect and share in a free and open society should never be used to target people based upon their identity,” Almunias said.
“We are all about building an inclusive and fair society.
The data we share is essential to that.”
The privacy rules, approved by U., U.N. member states, have been hailed as a breakthrough in protecting users’ privacy online, and Almunius said the rules will help companies to comply with U. S. privacy laws.
“By adopting the new EU rules, Facebook is showing that it will lead by example and not follow the US lead by continuing to engage in data mining and surveillance,” Alminas said in a statement.
Facebook said the new guidelines will make the company a more “welcoming place” for employees and businesses to meet and share ideas and learn about technology.
“It’s clear that these rules will make our company more inviting for our employees and our business partners,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in an email.
Facebook has struggled to keep pace with the pace of technology changes and to protect personal data since it launched in 2009.
In March, the company said it had more than 100 million accounts across the world and had received nearly 2 billion messages on Facebook.