Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Facebook Delays New Privacy Policy

Facebook has apparently decided to delay a proposed new privacy policy after a coalition of privacy groups asked the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday to block the changes on the grounds that they violated a 2011 settlement with the regulatory agency.

A spokeswoman for the F.T.C. confirmed Thursday that the agency had received the letter but had no further comment.

In a statement published by The Los Angeles Times and Politico on Thursday afternoon, Facebook said, “We are taking the time to ensure that user comments are reviewed and taken into consideration to determine whether further updates are necessary and we expect to finalize the process in the coming week.”

Asked about the delay, a Facebook spokesman said he was unaware of the latest developments.

When it first announced the changes on Aug. 28, Facebook told its 1.2 billion users that the updates were “to take effect on September 5.”

The changes, while clarifying how Facebook uses some information about its users, also contained a shift in legal language that appeared to put the burden on users to ask Facebook not to use their personal data in advertisements. Previously, the company’s terms of use, and its settlement with the F.T.C., had indicated that it wouldn’t use such personal data without explicit consent. Facebook’s new terms would also allow it to use the names and photos of teenagers in advertising, an area of particular concern to privacy advocates because children may be unaware of the consequences of actions such as liking a brand page.

The original proposal has drawn tens of thousands of comments from Facebook users, most of them opposed to the changes.