The network giant announced on November 21 that they are proposing some changes. First, they intend to get rid of the user voting system and put up a complaints page instead. This, in turn, would be dealt with selectively by Erin Egan, the chief privacy officer of Facebook, via a regular webcast.
Facebook encourages users to vote for the social networking sites issues regarding voting rights and privacy. (Image: las10f (CC) via Flickr)
Secondly, the network is also proposing changes on policies regarding the sharing of data; changes that would allow a larger portion of data to be shared. This would eventually result in the selling of more information to advertisers, more accurate personalization for users, and better linking of profiles with affiliates such as Instagram.
Opposition from Privacy Groups
These proposed changes did not fare well with some privacy groups, however. In particular, the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) sent a joint letter to Facebook, urging them to consider these changes again. Likewise, the Data Protection Commissioner fromIreland– where the European headquarters of Facebook is based – is also asking for some clarifications about the proposal.
In response, Facebook’s VP of communications, Elliot Schrage, posted on a blog that they are making some further clarifications, due to the feedback on their proposals. It was also reported that even with the updated proposals; the shutting down of Facebook’s voting system would still push through. Meanwhile, with regard to the sharing of date with affiliates, it was stated that the proposed changes are based on industry standards and in compliance with existing laws.
The Voting Process
Over the week until December 10, more than 30% of Facebook’s users should cast their votes on the matter. If less than that comes up, the votes will be considered as “advisory.” In addition, a webcast will be held on Tuesday, at 9:30am Pacific Time, to explain about the changes.