Facebook

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 your privacy: now other users can easily find out which applications you use, whether that’s a popular game, a dating app, or our Facebook quiz. Just like the changes that made Friends Lists and Fan Pages part of your “Publicly Available Information” (PAI) that could not be restricted or made private in any way (though Facebook later relented and allowed you to hide your Friends List on your profile—but only if you hide it from everyone!), this takes information that was hard to find and puts it front and center.
ACLU Guidance on Demands For Passwords To Protected Accounts

ACLU Guidance on Demands For Passwords To Protected Accounts

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:54pm

The Associated Press wrote a story a couple of weeks ago about job applicants being compelled to turn over the passwords to their social-networking accounts. This is an issue that the ACLU has worked on in a number of states, and it has stirred a lot…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (3/23/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (3/23/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 2:10pm

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of…

Facebook: Making Your Political Opinions Less Private Since 2012

Facebook: Making Your Political Opinions Less Private Since 2012

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:48pm

Facebook's willingness to search and collect users’ private political preferences and thoughts, which they may have shared only with their closest friend in a private email, is troubling.

Like Privacy? There's An App For That!

Like Privacy? There's An App For That!

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 5:16pm

Today we've launched a Facebook app that assesses your privacy exposure based on your online habits and technology use.

Facebook Application Privacy Breach Exposed

Facebook Application Privacy Breach Exposed

By Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California at 2:02pm

This past weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the most popular Facebook apps consistently share information about you and your friends with advertisers and other third parties, no matter what your privacy settings are.

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…

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,…

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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