Facebook is testing a feature that can point to the commonalities you have with other random users — whether you share a neighbourhood with them or went to the same university.
The feature, called “things in common”, may help you connect with random commentators on public posts, Engadget reported on Sunday.
The tool, currently available for a few users in the US, displays titbits of information a user has in common with people they are not friends with.
Facebook said the tags that the feature uses will not violate a user’s privacy as they only show information that are publicly available, meaning the same information can also be seen by someone by visiting a user’s profile.
The tool is being tested as part of Facebook’s efforts to make public discussions more meaningful, the report said.
“Knowing shared things in common helps people connect,” a Facebook spokesperson told Engadget.
“We’re testing adding a ‘things in common’ label that will appear above comments from people who you’re not friends with but you might have something in common with. Only information that people made publicly available on their profiles will be eligible to show up.” (IANS)
The European Union’s consumer protection chief said Thursday she’s growing impatient with Facebook’s efforts to improve transparency with users about their data, warning it could face sanctions for not complying.
EU Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova turned up the pressure on the social media giant, saying she wants the company to update its terms of service and expects to see its proposed changes by mid-October so they can take effect in December.
“I will not hide that I am becoming rather impatient because we have been in dialogue with Facebook almost two years and I really want to see, not the progress — it’s not enough for me — but I want to see the results,” Jourova said.
The EU wants Facebook to give users more information about how their data is used and how it works with third party makers of apps, games and quizzes.
“If we do not see the progress the sanctions will have to come,” she said. She didn’t specify punishment, saying they would be applied by individual countries. “I was quite clear we cannot negotiate forever, we just want to see the result.”
The EU has been pressing the U.S. tech company to look at what changes it needs to make to better protect consumers and this year Facebook has had to adapt to new EU data protection rules. The concerns took on greater urgency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal erupted, in which data on 87 million Facebook users was allegedly improperly harvested.
Jourova said she hopes Facebook will take more responsibility for its nearly 380 million European users.
“We want Facebook to be absolutely clear to its users about how their service operates and makes money,” she said.
Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.
The company said it “will continue our close cooperation to understand any further concerns and make appropriate updates.”
Jourova also said U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers.
Airbnb has promised to be fully transparent by either including extra fees in the total price for a booking quoted on its website or notifying users that they might apply, she said.
The company is complying with EU demands spurred by concerns that consumers could be confused by its complicated pricing structure, which could add unexpected costs such as cleaning charges at the end of a holiday.
Airbnb is also changing its terms of service to make it clear that travelers can sue their host if they suffer personal harm or other damages. That’s in response to complaints that its booking system can leave tourists stranded if the rental is canceled when all other arrangements have been already made.