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Facebook postpones privacy putsch: report

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Facebook will wait a little while before adopting changes to its privacy policy flagged last month.

The Los Angeles Times reports that in response to hostile reaction from users The Social Network will hold off introducing new “features” that would have allowed it to use members' faces in advertisements.

Users greatly dislike that plan, as can be discovered in a few minutes reading comments on the announcement of the new plan.

The Times quotes an email from Facebook to the effect that it is considering “whether further updates are necessary”. That consideration is expected to conclude next week.

The delay in implementation of the new privacy policy comes after half a dozen US privacy groups expressed concerns about the plan in a joint letter sent to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The letter (PDF) suggests the new plan breaches the FTC's 2011 order forcing Facebook to obtain consent before using users' information. Just throwing the switch to new privacy settings may not be the same as getting consent.

It's not clear if the FTC has unleashed the lawyers, or is considering the letter. That Facebook is moving slowly suggests some sort of negotiations may be under way. Either that or it's adopting the time-honoured strategy of letting anger blow itself out before retreating to a “more reasonable” position that was actually what it wanted from the very start. ®

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