Facebook prepares for another privacy row with its users
Zuckerberg tries to pimp your data again
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.
“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.
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. ®
"However, we've definitely identified some interesting opportunities to improve the way you share and connect with the people and things in your life."
How entirely selfless of you. I really am flattered that you continue to go to such trouble without any urging and without a thought for the expense and challenges you burden yourselves with. My only hope is that somehow, some day, you find a way to recoup the never-ending investment you are making into my wellbeing.
I'm glad I never bothered to enter any accurate personal data on there. I can carry on whiffling and keeping up with my friends while some other poor sod is bombarded with my junk mail.
As for the location tagging - brilliant use of technology, which I will block immediately because I don't want anyone knowing what I'm up to. If you can't find me online, go check the pub and buy me a pint.
And I thought I must be the only person to have seen that film ...