Privacy groups ask Facebook to back off privacy changes

Facebook wants to remove the ability for users to vote on modifications to data usage and privacy policies

By Ian Paul, PC World |  Security, Facebook, privacy

Two consumer interest groups are asking Facebook to withdraw its proposed changes that would, among other issues, remove the ability for users to vote on modifications to Facebook's data usage and privacy policies. The company also wants to change how you filter incoming messages on Facebook, and Facebook wants to freely share user data between companies it owns, such as Instagram.

The Center for Digital Democracy and the Electronic Privacy Information Center said in an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the planned changes "raise privacy risks for users, may be contrary to law, and violate [Facebook's] previous commitments to users about site governance." The social network may have been trying to slip the changes under the radar, announcing them the day before Thanksgiving.

Do you really want the vote?

Facebook was lauded for its decision in 2009 to introduce site governance voting, but the right to vote on policy changes has been largely ignored by the majority of Facebook's members. The most recent vote was in June when 0.1 percent of Facebook's then more than 900 million users bothered to vote on a set of proposed privacy policy changes.

Among those who voted, only 13 percent supported Facebook's new privacy policy. Despite that largely negative reaction, the company only considers a user vote binding if 30 percent of the social network's users participate, a bar the vote fell far short of achieving. "A very very small minority of people that use Facebook voted, which was pretty disappointing from our point of view," Facebook spokeswoman Jaime Schopflin told IDG News in June. "We're realizing that this is a process that doesn't work." It's not clear whether Facebook is particularly proactive in encouraging users to participate in the voting process whenever proposed changes arise.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question
randomness