Facebook continues to face heat over privacy
Facebook's announcement last week of simpler privacy settings was a good first step, users and privacy advocates said. But the company is continuing to sweat it out from pressure around the world that it still isn’t doing enough. And the biggest concerns revolve around their policy to share information about users unless their subscribers proactively opt-out.
Many have already seen the D8 conference video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (highly suggest following Twitter hashtag #D8 on his speech – the sweat! the hoodie! the drama!), where the founder literally was under heat from privacy questions by The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
Today, the company’s former head of privacy said the social network for near 500 million users hasn’t gone far enough.
Chris Kelly, who is running for California Attorney General, said his former employer is still leaving its users vulnerable because of an opt-out policy for users who don’t want their information shared with partner sites Yelp, Pandora and Microsoft's Docs. Specifically he emailed MoveOn’s email listserve saying Facebook’s opt-out policy for Instant Personalization – where a subscriber’s list of contacts automatically appear on those partner sites.
”Today, I remain troubled by the news that Facebook still plans to offer only an opt-out to ‘instant personalization’—meaning that users' information will be shared with third parties without clear consent,” Kelly wrote to MoveOn’s listserve. He called on members to sign join the 171,00-member strong Facebook group: “Facebook: Respect my privacy.”
Facebook said its instant personalization program is easier to shut off with new privacy settings announced last week.
In addition, Germany’s consumer protection minister, Ilse Aigner, said Thursday that after meeting with Facebook’s European policy director about the company’s recent privacy changes, she had “doubts as to whether these improvements will really bring a true turning point,” according to the Associated Press.
Aigner said she plans to delete her Facebook account and said that her meeting with the company "unfortunately confirmed my skepticism."
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said the meeting with Aigner was "constructive."
"We appreciate Minister Aigner's willingness to share her views with us on how we should further develop our model of privacy and user control and we will reflect on this, as we constantly do with others policy makers in Europe and elsewhere," he said.
June 3, 2010; 10:43 AM ET
Categories: FTC , Facebook , Privacy
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