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Privacy Groups to Facebook — There’s More to Do

Nicole Ozer,
Technology & Civil Liberties Director, ACLU of Northern California
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June 18, 2010

Wednesday, ten of the nation’s top privacy organizations, including the ACLU of Northern California, EFF, EPIC, and CDT, sent a joint letter to Facebook (PDF) calling for the social networking giant to fix remaining issues concerning user privacy and control.

Facebook recently took a step in the right direction and addressed some of its privacy issues. But Facebook users’ personal information is still visible through privacy cracks most people don’t even know about, including the “app gap.” It’s time for Facebook to plug the app gap and give users real control over all of their information.
The privacy groups’ open letter (PDF) calls on Facebook to demonstrate its commitment to its own principles by addressing six outstanding areas of concern:

  1. Fixing the “app gap.”
  2. Making “instant personalization” opt in.
  3. Not retaining data received from “social plugins” including the “like” button unless the user actually interacts with the plugin and making logout options prominent.
  4. Giving users control over every piece of information they share.
  5. Using HTTPS by default to protect users from outside threats.
  6. Providing users with simple tools to export their content and connections from Facebook.

By addressing these issues, Facebook can continue to demonstrate its commitment to privacy. We look forward to working with them to do so.

And we hope you will join us by signing our petition urging Facebook to give you full control over your own personal information, and get involved in our campaign for online privacy, Demand Your dotRights!

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