[LINK] Surprise, surprise, Facebook gets users' okay

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Apr 29 09:42:41 AEST 2009

[Just to put this into the link archive.
[I haven't had the time to analyse the document, but I'm highly sceptical]


[3] Facebook Improves Privacy Safeguards

Facebook announced the audited results of its vote on site governance.
Approximately 75 percent of the users who cast their votes supported
the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and the new Facebook
Principles. Under the new Principles, Facebook users will "own and
control their information."

In February, Facebook changed is terms of Terms of Service and asserted
broad, permanent, and retroactive rights to users' personal information
- even after they deleted their accounts. The new terms attracted
severe criticism with close to 150,000 people joining a group
protesting its adoption. EPIC drafted a complaint which was supported
by more than a dozen consumer and privacy organizations stating unfair
and deceptive trade practices. However, hours before EPIC filed the
complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding the changes to
Facebook's Terms of Service, the social network service announced that
it will restore the original policy.

Subsequently, the social networking giant proposed a set of guidelines
and a statement of rights and responsibilities governing its
relationship with users and called for user comment on the principles,
which included "Ownership and Control of Information" and "Transparent
Process." Facebook further committed to "open[ing] up Facebook so that
users [could] participate meaningfully in [] policies and [the]
future." Comments were made over a 30-day period by individuals and
experts from various fields highlighting several concerns and proposed

Thereafter, in April, the governing documents were updated to reflect
feedback from users and experts. Users were asked to participate in a
vote to adopt these proposed rules or maintain the previous terms.
Facebook established a fan page for the purpose of keeping users
informed about site governance. EPIC supported the adoption of the news
term of service. With the new terms being adopted, Facebook granted its
users ownership and control of their information, and also agreed that
it would publicly make available information about its purpose, plans,
policies, and operations in the future. Facebook also took steps to
improve account deletion, to limit sublicenses, and to reduce data
exchanges with application developers. Facebook would have a town hall
process of notice and comment and a system of voting to encourage input
and discourse on amendments to these Principles or to the Rights and

Facebook Site Governance:

Results of the Inaugural Facebook Site Governance Vote:

Facebook Town Hall: Proposed Facebook Principles:

Facebook Town Hall: Proposed Statement of Rights & Responsibilities:

Facebook Terms of Service:

People Against the New Terms of Service:

EPIC's Page on Social Networking Privacy:


Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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