Feeds

Facebook prepares for another privacy row with its users

Zuckerberg tries to pimp your data again

The essential guide to IT transformation

Facebook has once again decided to tweak its privacy policy, but this time the Mark Zuckerberg-run company has told its users to expect another overhaul ahead of making the changes - presumably in an effort to prevent the kind of protest the Web2.0rhea site suffered last year.

On Friday Facebook’s deputy general counsel Michael Richter said in a wishy-washy blog post that the firm planned to introduce some new features to its site, but didn’t actually reveal much about what its 400 million users can expect to see change.

“We're proposing another set of revisions to our Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to make way for some exciting new products we're contemplating,” he said.

“Not all of these products have been finalised and many aren't yet built at all. However, we've definitely identified some interesting opportunities to improve the way you share and connect with the people and things in your life.”

The company has made changes to its location tagging feature, which Facebook wonks had been beavering away at for the best part of a year, though they haven't actually unleashed it on the site yet.

“We thought the primary use would be to ‘add a location to something you post.’ Now, we've got some different ideas that we think are even more exciting,” said Richter.

“So, we've removed the old language and, instead added the concept of a ‘place’ that could refer to a Page, such as one for a local restaurant. As we finalise the product, we look forward to providing more details, including new privacy controls.”

The other potentially controversial change planned by Facebook involves allowing “pre-approved third party websites and applications” that use the Facebook Platform to grab general information about users from their account when they are logged into the service.

“In the proposed privacy policy, we've also explained the possibility of working with some partner websites that we pre-approve to offer a more personalised experience at the moment you visit the site. In such instances, we would only introduce this feature with a small, select group of partners and we would also offer new controls,” said Richter.

On the flip side, Facebook developers and third party websites will be required to “delete all data” from the site if a user requests such a removal. Additionally developers are forbidden from sharing Facebook data with other ad networks such as Google and DoubleClick.

Of course whether those coders adhere to the Facebook policy remains to be seen. Facebook execs admitted in the past that getting everyone to follow its rules was impossible.

Richter made a big play of Facebook’s efforts to be transparent about tweaks to its product. The only problem is that the blog post offered very little in the way of actual detail. Richter said the company would have more to say once it has finished the changes to its product.

The latest overhaul reflects Facebook's ambitions to get more of its interface to be embedded within online searches, making the site even more pervasive across the web.

Facebook users can air their disapproval or insert a smiley face until 3 April, said the company. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.