March 23, 2012, 5:26 PM — Facebook has cut to the chase in a draft version of its new document defining the rights of customers – by taking out the word "privacy."
Instead the draft, posted March 15 for customers to comment on, is a "data use policy."
Facebook even denigrates that change, referring to it as "administrative" as opposed to other sections the document that ban customers from trying to extract source code from Facebook software, refine the definition and rules forbidding hate speech.
It also makes "clear" the already too-liberal policy under which deciding to use an app – or even to launch it to see if you want to use it – gives the app permission to access your "content and information" which presumably means all the data attached to your account.
The clarification adds nine words – "…or others who can see your content and information…" – that give any app you use permission to access the accounts of anyone you've allowed to see any of your information.
That makes it suck to be your Friend because your bad app decisions now affect a lot of other people.
It also gives the oversharers and cute-app-addicts on your Friends list the power to give any app, however invasive, stupid or objectionable you find it, permission to access your data for purposes Facebook promises it will control on your behalf.
Thanks. That's very considerate. It's so inconvenient to decide for myself what apps, what companies or what manipulative strangers should get automatic access even to pictures or comments I had made accessible only to a few specific people.
No wonder Facebook took "privacy" out of the policy.
No wonder "I do not approve" and variations thereof (many in German) are the most common comments posted.
"I just found out about this today" one user commented earlier today, having missed opportunity to comment, largely because Facebook did little to publicize the changes or open-comment period. "It's too late for my comment to count, but I'm making it anyway. I disagree with my friend's applications being able to access my information."
"Your friends' apps have ALWAYS been able to access your data!" another countered. "It isn't a complete policy change, they just changed the words to make it clear."