[LINK] PCWorld: 'A bill of rights for Facebook users'

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Mon May 24 10:16:06 AEST 2010

On Mon, 2010-05-24 at 08:45 +1000, Roger Clarke wrote:
> 1. Let me know what I'm getting into (or out of)

Goodo - but the user has to READ this description. People want to be
told, but then complain when Facebook's T&C are five pages long!

> 2. Tell me what I'm broadcasting to the world


Plus it's not just "broadcasting to the world" - it is a lot more
fine-grained than that.

> 3. Let me opt in to sharing my data; don't make me opt out of it

Absolutely, no argument here.

> 4. Make privacy settings simple

This one conflicts with all the others. If you want complex features,
expect complex configuration. Which is not to say the configuration
could not be better designed.
> 5. Give me more control over photos

See above - you want "simple settings" but "more control".

> 6. Tell me what data I'm sharing with apps

Ditto again. And that should be "allow me to decide what apps get to
share my data, and what data they get to see".

> 7. What happens in Facebook should stay in Facebook

Not actually technically possible. Facebook itself can be constrained to
not sharing with other entities, but any Facebook user can take any
material he/she finds on Facebook and distribute it further.

> 8. Don't surprise me

If everything is opt-in and people READ the T&C, there can be no

> 9. Accept responsibility when things go wrong

That makes the T&C about twice as long. And it's way too wide. Facebook
can in any case not shirk responsibility in law; what would be nice is
to see such organisations with a proper and working complaints system,
with real, useful actions to follow.

> 10. Give me the right to quit and leave nothing behind

Again - while Facebook could be required to delete everything, its users
are under no such constraint.

Also, I would suggest that the fact of your participation and your basic
identifying data (name, address, birthday, nicknames used etc) should be
able to be retained by Facebook for their own protection. You should not
be allowed to pretend you were never there. All other material - photos,
text etc - should be deletable.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/~kauer/                  +61-428-957160 (mob)

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