Feeds

German group urges boycott over Facebook privacy shake-up

This ain't no nudist beach

High performance access to file storage

A German consumer group is urging surfers to ditch Facebook in protest over proposed privacy changes, AFP reports.

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBZ) wants users to abandon Facebook for other social networks in order to pressure Zuckerberg's baby into reconsidering a controversial data sharing plan.

VZBZ wants a proposed scheme involving the sharing of Facebook users' personal information with "pre-approved" third-party websites to be opt-in only, AFP reports. At present users would be obliged to opt out if they objected.

If the revised privacy policy goes through, surfers may find that when they visit external websites it already knows their name, date of birth, who their friends are and other data they share with everyone on Facebook. The information will be shared without users' explicit permission.

Facebook is no stranger to privacy controversies. Previous revisions of its privacy policy pushed users towards sharing personal data and photos with everyone by default. Its Beacon ad network plans were also controversial.

The latest privacy shakeup is a step too far for VZBZ and for Ilse Aigner, consumer affairs minister, who earlier this week threatened to delete her Facebook account in protest at the social network's plans.

Germany is sensitive about privacy invasion for historical reasons, but concerns over the proposed privacy revisions are far from restricted to the country. An online survey by net security firm Sophos discovered that an overwhelming 95 per cent were opposed to the proposed changes.

Facebook's spin doctors sought to allay concerns about the proposals by saying the sharing will only happen with a small number of carefully selected third-party websites.

Some security experts are unconvinced by these assurances. A blog posting analysing Facebook's privacy policy by Sophos analyst Chester Wisniewski, for example, explains how Facebook's approach to privacy lacks the clarity of LinkedIn's policy.

He points out that Facebook has responded less quickly to privacy criticisms than the managers of Google Buzz, who quickly ditched the unloved contacts-exposing feature when its release was met with an outcry. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.