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Facebook changes its privacy policies and controls

12 Dec 2012
Faecbook website frontpage

Facebook has changed the way it handles user information following a seven-day vote on the issue.

The social network has changed its Statements of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Usage Policy.

While Facebook had put its changes to the vote, poor turn out saw it implement its proposed alterations anyway, which will do away with any future votes.

"While participation in the vote was minimal, this experience illustrated the clear value of our notice and comment process," said vice president of communications, public policy and marketing Elliot Schrage in a blog post.

"Your substantive feedback on our proposals during the seven-day comment period, along with discussions with our global regulators, resulted in clarifications and revisions to those proposals,"

Among the two key changes to Facebook's privacy policies are the new ability for Facebook to share user data with affiliates like Instagram and the end of the social networks privacy policy vote.

The added policy allowing Facebook to exchange data with its affiliates has been attacked by privacy advocates such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The group, along with the Center for Digital Democracy, sent out a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg asking him to drop the new Facebook policies.

Users have also disliked the company's decision to drop its voting process. For its part Facebook, says that voting turnout was relatively small and that it will be offering a new user participation system in the near future.

"We believe that having a meaningful dialogue with our community through our notice and comment process is core to that effort moving forward," continued Schrage.

"We also plan to explore and implement new, innovative and effective ways to enhance this process in order to maximise user engagement."

Along with the policy updates, Facebook has also updated its privacy controls. The new controls will give users new privacy button shortcuts and extending app permission controls.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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