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Facebook privacy overhaul plans anger users

23 Nov 2012

Facebook users have reacted with anger after it announced plans to remove the ability for users to vote on changes made to the site's privacy settings.

Facebook claimed it was being overwhelmed by the amount of responses it currently receives.

In an email sent to users and also published on the site, Facebook said it intends to make changes to its site governance process around its Data Use Policy (DUP), which explains how it collects and uses data on Facebook users, and its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR).

"We deeply value the feedback we receive from you during our comment period but have found that the voting mechanism created a system that incentivised quantity of comments over the quality of them," wrote Elliot Schrage, vice president of public policy on a company blog.

"Therefore, we're proposing to end the voting component of the process in favour of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement."

So far almost 8,000 people have responded to the post, with many voicing their concerns that Facebook is seeking to gain more information on their profiles.

Facebook also revealed overhauls to its SSR and DUP, chief among which includes the sharing of data with photo service Instagram, which the site paid $1bn for last year.

"We may share information we receive with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that Facebook is part of, or that become part of that group (often these companies are called affiliates)," it said.

"Likewise, our affiliates may share information with us as well. We and our affiliates may use shared information to help provide, understand, and improve our services and their own services."

Earlier this week Facebook made the HTTPS the default protocol for all its webpages, offering improved security to its one billion strong user base.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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