Privacy groups ask Facebook to withdraw proposed policy changes | HT Tech

Privacy groups ask Facebook to withdraw proposed policy changes

Two privacy advocacy groups urged Facebook Inc on Monday to withdraw proposed changes to its terms of service that would allow the company to share user data with recently acquired photo-application Instagram, eliminate a user voting system and loosen email restrictions within the social network.

By:REUTERS
| Updated on: Nov 27 2012, 16:05 IST
image caption
A-woman-shoots-a-video-of-the-sign-at-the-entrance-to-the-Facebook-main-campus-AFP-Robyn-Beck

Two privacy advocacy groups urged Facebook Inc on Monday to withdraw proposed changes to its terms of service that would allow the company to share user data with recently acquired photo-application Instagram, eliminate a user voting system and loosen email restrictions within the social network.

The changes, which Facebook unveiled on Wednesday, raise privacy risks for users and violate the company's previous commitments to its roughly 1 billion members, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy.

You may be interested in

MobilesTablets Laptops
28% OFF
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G
  • Green
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
Google Pixel 8 Pro
  • Obsidian
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
Vivo X100 Pro 5G
  • Asteroid Black
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB Storage
Apple iPhone 15 Plus
  • Black
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage

'Facebook's proposed changes implicate the user privacy and terms of a recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission,' the groups said in a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg that was published on their websites on Monday.

Also read
Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

By sharing information with Instagram , the letter said, Facebook could combine user profiles, ending its practice of keeping user information on the two services separate.

Facebook declined to comment on the letter. Facebook proposes to end voting on privacy issues

In April, Facebook settled privacy charges with the US Federal Trade Commission that it had deceived consumers and forced them to share more personal information than they intended.

Under the settlement, Facebook is required to get user consent for certain changes to its privacy settings and is subject to 20 years of independent audits.

image caption

Facebook unveiled a variety of proposed changes to its terms of service and data use polices on Wednesday, including a move to scrap a 4-year old process that can allow the social network's roughly 1 billion users to vote on changes to its policies.

If proposed changes generate more than 7,000 public comments during a seven-day period, Facebook's current terms of service automatically trigger a vote by users to approve the changes. But the vote is only binding if at least 30 percent of users take part, and two prior votes never reached that threshold.

The latest proposed changes had garnered more than 17,000 comments by late Monday.


Facebook also said last week that it wanted to eliminate a setting for users to control who can contact them on the social network's email system.

image caption

That change is likely to increase the amount of unwanted 'spam' messages that users receive, the privacy groups warned on Monday.

Facebook's potential information sharing with Instagram, a photo-sharing service for smartphone users that it bought in October, flows from proposed changes that would allow the company to share information between its own service and other businesses or affiliates it owns.

The change could open the door for Facebook to build unified profiles of its users that include people's personal data from its social network and from Instagram, similar to recent moves by Google Inc. EU regulators give Google 4 months to change privacy policy

In January, Google said it would combine users' personal information from its various Web services - such as search, email and the Google+ social network - to provide a more customized experience.

The unified data policy raised concerns among some privacy advocates and regulators, who said it was an invasion of people's privacy. Google destroys illegally collected info in New Zealand

'As our company grows, we acquire businesses that become a legal part of our organization,' Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in an emailed statement on Monday.

'Those companies sometimes operate as affiliates. We wanted to clarify that we will share information with our affiliates and vice versa, both to help improve our services and theirs, and to take advantage of storage efficiencies,' Noyes said.


Read more:
Judge approves FTC's $22.5M fine of Google
A note to offenders from the offended
Google bypassed Apple privacy settings

Catch all the Latest Tech News, Mobile News, Laptop News, Gaming news, Wearables News , How To News, also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 27 Nov, 11:01 IST
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS