Privacy groups urge Facebook to make more changes

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Facebook continues to face criticism over privacy settings at the social networking site.

Privacy and civil liberties groups on Wednesday urged Facebook to address issues they say violate the privacy of the site’s more than 400 million users.

In an open letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, the groups applauded steps the company has taken to make it easier to change privacy settings, but asked for additional measure, such as allowing users to control all of the information they share on Facebook, making it easier to export their data and quit Facebook and make the instant personalization pilot program that shares users’ publicly available data with select partner sites opt-in by default.


The letter was signed by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California; Center for Democracy and Technology; Center for Digital Democracy, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

‘Facebook continues to push its users into more and more public sharing — sharing that it’s not at all clear members want or fully understand,’ EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston said. ‘We’re calling on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg to respect their members and give them the information and the tools they need for true control.’

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes noted that Facebook won praise for the privacy changes it announced last month.

“We plan to continue to make control easy and effective for all the people who use our service and will continue to engage these groups and others in a constructive dialogue about these important issues,” he said in an e-mail statement.

He also included a detailed response to each of the issues raised by the privacy groups. And he pointed out that Facebook plans to roll out a data permission program in the coming weeks to address remaining concerns.

The letter from advocacy groups arrived in Zuckerberg’s inbox as interest in the privacy imbroglio seems to be waning.


— Jessica Guynn