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Facebook puts privacy policies up for vote

02 Jun 2012
Faecbook website frontpage

Facebook is allowing its users to vote on the company's recent privacy overhaul.

The company said that its site governance vote would allow users to decide whether they prefer to adopt a new set of policies which dictate how the company can gather and use information from user profiles.

The vote will run through 8 June and will cover both the Facebook data use policy and the company's statement of rights and responsibilities.

"Since 2009, we have continued to take unprecedented steps to promote understanding and enable participation on the web," said Facebook public policy and marketing vice president of communications Elliot Schrage.

"Each time we’ve proposed changes to our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy, we have presented them to you first to read and provide comments and feedback, which we incorporate into our revisions."

Facebook has at times had a contentious relationship with user privacy and government groups over its handling of user data. Last year, the company agreed to a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission over charges of mishandling user data.

The vote was hailed as a victory by advocacy group Europe Versus Facebook. The group said that collected more than 40,000 comments from users on the policy, far surpassing the 7,000 comment requirement Facebook sets for putting policies up for vote.

"Many changes would enable Facebook to further increase its capitalization on the users’ data," the group said in a statement.

"Facebook also tries to make itself the 'controller' for all data."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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