Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Privacy advocacy groups oppose Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s new privacy rules

Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB)’s new privacy rules which eliminates a previous system of user voting and allows the company to share user data with photo app Instagram has raised the hackles of privacy groups.

Two privacy advocacy groups - Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy - said that the changes which were revealed by Facebook on Wednesday raised privacy concerns for its 1 billion users and were in violation of the company's stated commitments previously.

"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.

The intention to share information with Instagram meant that the two profiles would be combined, while so far the services have been kept separate.

Earlier this year the social networking site had settled charges of privacy with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it had deceived users in terms of how it used their information and to what extent. There were also allegations that it forced them to share more information than they intended.

Facebook is required to get user permission before it can make changes to privacy settings and on this score is subject to 20 years of independent audit.

Facebook unveiled a variety of proposed changes to its terms of service and data use polices 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.

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