The Federal Trade Commission is getting another earful about the update to Facebook’s data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities, which the social network announced Aug. 29, and this time, the opposition is coming from a coalition of more than 20 public health, youth, and consumer groups.
Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
Responding to criticism of the changes to its data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities, announced last week, Facebook said it will delay the implementation of those changes.
The changes Facebook announced last week to its data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities have drawn the ire of consumer privacy groups, as six of them sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission Wednesday expressing concerns over the use of users’ personal data in advertising, The New York Times’ Bits blog reported.
Facebook’s tag suggest feature for photos has seen its share of controversy, particularly in Europe, and the social network revealed Thursday in its new data use policy that it may begin collecting users’ profile pictures for a database aimed at improving the feature.
Even though an overwhelming majority of voters wanted Facebook to keep its current data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities, which would allow users to vote on changes, less than 1 percent of Facebook’s user base actually made their voices official — far short of the 30 percent needed to push the vote to favor the users. Facebook will instead implement a system where users can comment and discuss changes, with the company taking users’ sentiments into consideration.
Facebook asked users to vote on whether or not they should be able to vote on future changes to the policy that governs what the company does with users’ data. To keep the old process of voting in place, 30 percent of Facebook’s 1 billion-strong user base had to vote for that, but it appears that less than 1 million officially voiced their opinions. However, those who have voted clearly want to keep the status quo.
When Facebook told users it was planning to approve changes to its data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities without putting them to a vote, users and privacy advocates were up in arms. Luckily, commenters have taken matters into their own hands, posting enough comments on the note announcing the changes to force Facebook to put them to a vote.
While Facebook users continue to spread false information about privacy on Facebook, officials in Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are taking a very real look at recent announcements by the social network.