Facebook shareholders may be grumbling about the inordinate amount of control founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds under the company’s relatively unique corporate structure, but new privacy-policy explanations the company announced on Friday - and will explain in a conference call Monday - return some privacy control back to users.
How Many Users Does It Take to Change a Policy?
“This one is a fresh one,” said Kapil Raina, director of Product Marketing at Zscaler. “Given that most of the Facebook stock is under a dual class control, it is refreshing that at least privacy is not. Then again,” Raina added, “note the emphasis on ‘active’ – which is defined by what?”
A spokesperson for Facebook could not be reached for comment Saturday, but that question could presumably come up at a live Q&A Facebook has scheduled for noon ET/9 am PT tomorrow. The company is seeking feedback on the new policies, perhaps trying to reverse its image of being a company that acts first and asks questions later when it comes to policies on user data.
A New Privacy Hub
The most notable change is a new policy hub, which makes it easier for users to find pertinent policies on acceptable use, rights and responsibilities and how Facebook uses your data. The company still takes liberties in its control over user data and privacy.
“Facebook talks a lot about data they 'receive', but they are still very vague about what they are storing and for how long,” said Jay Herbison,CEO of Priveazy, a startup dedicated to educating users about online privacy and safety issues. “Facebook is also not giving users full access to the things that Facebook is storing about them.”
“It is very likely that as Facebook rolls out an ad network, the length of the storage will be extended and this data will be used to create permanent 'Web browsing profiles' that could outlast the Web browsing data that was initially captured,” Herbison said.