Saturday, 19 May 2012

Facebook sugests further privacy policy alterations

Facebook spoke on Friday that it wishs to make additional adjustments to its privacy policy in order to answer to an audit by the Irish government, but privacy advocates saw the move as an inadequate attempt to quell privacy concerns prior to Facebook's planned initial public offering.
The planned adjustments, which the company put out for public remark on Friday, don't appear to reflect any major shifts in policy. For the most part, the document makes more detailed how Facebook is already using individual information. The company has also updated the policy to reflect newer features, such as cover pictures .
The planned adjustments are not final. A document highlighting the planned adjustments is available on the website in PDF form, along with an explanation of the adjustments. The company is asking for individual reponse and will host a web question-and-answer session about the adjustments May 14 at 9 a. m. Pacific time .
Sarah Downey, a privacy expert and lawyer at privacy software vendor Abine, spoke the more detailed language was essential by a consent decree issued final year as part of a settlement with the U. S. Federal Trade Commission, and by the audit by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner .
Downey spoke once Facebook goes public, it will face pressure to create more revenue and will likely fulfill that goal by using personal data to market targeted advertising. The initial public offering (IPO) is anticipated to take place on May 18 .
" Their financial success really requires them to collect more usable personal information and make that information available and accessible to advertisers. We expect that more private information about users is going to be disclosed," she spoke .
Jeffrey Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, also spoke the upcoming IPO will lay the labour for greater pressure to individual privacy .
" Facebook can't possibly protect the privacy of its users and grow as publicly traded company. It's going to be increasingly difficult for them to grow their business significantly without collecting and monetizing more of its data," he spoke .
Downey said an apparent change could be significant for consumers: Even if a Facebook individual does not share his or her phone number or email address publicly, default settings will make it possible for others to search for the user on Facebook using that data .
The information Facebook acquires and brings to third-party advertisers, a controversial topic among privacy advocates, was also the subject of substantial revision. For instance, where the current policy says that Facebook can consume "the information it receives about you. .. to measure or understand the effectiveness of ads you and others see," the latest policy makes obvious that that includes "deliver[ing] relevant ads to you." Delivering such user-specific advertising often involves sharing individual information with third-party advertisers .

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