Days after privacy groups protested, Facebook has decided to delay introducing changes to its privacy policies. Thanks to the protest lodged with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Facebook is going to go slow on introducing changes that will affect the way your information is used by the site itself and third-party advertisers.
"We are taking the time to ensure that user comments are reviewed and taken into consideration to determine whether further updates are necessary and we expect to finalize the process in the coming week," Facebook said in a statement emailed to the Los Angeles Times. The social networking website is vehement that it isn’t changing its policies but simply clarifying the language they’ve been written in to eliminate all possibility of confusion.
IDelaying the changes (Image credit: Reuters)
The issue of privacy reared its ugly head when Facebook decided to introduce changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. According to some of the changes suggested, Facebook wished to add profile pictures to its facial-recognition database.
If this wasn’t enough, earlier this week Facebook made a revision to its proposed Statement of Rights and Responsibilities which said that the social networking website would use names, images and personal information of its nearly 1.2 billion users to endorse products in ads. It also clarified that while it stood to gain monetarily from this deal, it had no responsibility to either inform users of their images being used nor let them be eligible to gain financially.
This clause not only included regular users of Facebook but also teenagers under the age of 18 on the social networking website. According to social network, if a youngster under the age of 18 is on Facebook, then it represents that at least one of his legal guardians has agreed to the terms of this section.
This, of course, was the final straw for these privacy groups who invoked a class action lawsuit filed in 2011 against Facebook and its usage of personal information in its “sponsored stories” section. They claimed that the proposed changes violated the 2011 settlement between FTC and Facebook. The clause that Facebook could create advertisements using personal information of users ran contrary to the 20-year settlement.
While the FTC refused to comment on the existence of the letter sent in by the privacy watchdogs, Facebook is playing it safe and delaying these proposed changes. The website could now choose to make slight modifications to the clauses before putting them into use.