Home Facebook to Let Users Vote On Its Privacy Policies

Facebook to Let Users Vote On Its Privacy Policies

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?

“If we receive more than 7,000 comments concerning a particular change, we will put the change up for a vote. The vote will be binding on us if more than 30% of all active registered users as of the date of the notice vote,” the company’s updated terms of use read.

“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.

The company outlined the policy changes and announced Monday’s Q&A in a blog post. Anyone can join the discussion at http://on.fb.me/fbdctalks.

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.”

For example, Herbison said he had issues with the data collections received through Facebook social plugins on non-Facebook sites. Facebook has previously acknowledged that it keeps social plugin data for 90 days but there has never been a mention in the privacy policy about this, Herbison said. 

“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.

The privacy policy changes most likely stem from last year’s dust-up with the Federal Trade Commission and the company’s initial public stock offering later this week.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.