Facebook

We Don't Want Simpler Controls—We Simply Want Control

By Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California at 5:11pm
Facebook has been taking heat for its recent privacy-unfriendly practices, from the "privacy transition" that took away privacy controls to "instant personalization" that instantly shares personal information with third party pages without the user's consent. In response, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published an op-ed in the Washington Post today, claiming that Facebook has "heard the feedback" and now realizes that "people want easier control over their information." But we don't just want simpler settings that limit our choices and force us to share information broadly or not at all—we want real control, and we want it to be the default.
Facebook Revolt at Hand?

Facebook Revolt at Hand?

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 2:16pm

In recent months, Facebook has rolled out some very privacy-unfriendly practices, from the "privacy transition" that took away privacy controls to "instant personalization" that instantly shares your personal information with third party pages without your consent. Tell Facebook loud and clear that you want control of your personal information.

Kids These Days...They Absolutely Care About Privacy

Kids These Days...They Absolutely Care About Privacy

By Tamar Gubins, ACLU of Northern California at 1:24pm

Company bigwigs who want to use our personal online information justify their actions by telling us that young people don't care about privacy. In January, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg claimed that privacy is no longer a "social norm,"…

Is Facebook Unliking Privacy?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 5:46pm

(Originally posted on the ACLU of Northern California's Bytes and Pieces blog.)

Today, Facebook released proposed changes to its privacy policy and its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Facebook's newest changes seem to be designed…

Is Facebook’s Application Dashboard Missing a Privacy Gauge?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 10:27am

Facebook is once again rolling out changes to its user interface, including new Applications and Games Dashboards that it says will “mak[e] it easier for you to find and interact with applications.” And, once again, these changes affect…

Quiz Facebook: Will We Have Control over Our Own Information?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 5:32pm

Today, in response to an inquiry by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Facebook announced plans to enhance user privacy over the next year. Some of these plans address third party applications, like quizzes and games, that have access to a lot of…

Facebook Flunks Privacy 101

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 12:00am

We recently blogged that Facebook's default privacy settings allow quizzes and other applications to peer into your profile - even if it's your friend, and not you, who takes the quiz!

But don't take our word for it. If you're a Facebook user,…

Quiz: What Do Facebook Quizzes Know About You?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 4:29pm

(Originally posted on the ACLU of Northern California's Bytes & Pieces blog.)

Ever whiled away five minutes on a Facebook quiz, finding out what cartoon character is your look-alike or how your IQ stacks up? These quizzes may seem like…

Facebook's Latest About-Face

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 1:01pm

(Originally posted on the ACLU of Northern California's technology blog, Bytes and Pieces.)

Facebook, hardly a stranger to controversy, set off yet another firestorm recently when it changed its Terms of Use. The previous terms of service explicitly stated that Facebook’s license to use user-created content expired as soon as the user deleted the content or cancelled her account:

You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

The new terms, however, removed this sentence, suggesting that Facebook retained a license to user-created or uploaded content forever, whatever the user might do. This small change triggered a storm of outrage, eventually leading Facebook to reverse course and withdraw the new Terms of Use.

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