Facebook clarifies data use policy ahead of IPO

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2011 photo, a Facebook page is seen on a computer in Montpelier, Vt. Following on the popularity of sites like Groupon, Facebook is launching its own daily deals program Tuesday, April 26, 2011 in five U.S. cities. The social network hopes to exploit the peer-to-peer aspect of group buying when it begins testing offers in San Diego, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta and Dallas. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File) Toby Talbot

Toby Talbot
(AP) Facebook is updating its data use policy in an attempt to give users more clarity on how the information they share is used by the company. The move comes a week ahead of its expected initial public offering of stock.

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Facebook said Friday that the changes are in response to an audit by Irish data-protection authorities last year.

As part of the changes, Facebook has created a new section of its data use policy - formerly known as privacy policy - to explain how it uses "cookies." Cookies are commonly used to track people's activity around the Web.

Facebook's international headquarters are based in Dublin, Ireland, a member of the European Union. This means the company is required to comply with European data privacy laws.

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