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Facebook Calls All-Hands Meeting On Privacy 302

Posted by timothy
from the all-opposed-say-aye dept.
CWmike writes "A Facebook spokesman said that the company will hold an all-staff meeting on Thursday to discuss privacy issues, but would not say whether executives are looking to make significant changes to the popular site's highly contentious privacy policies following a bevy of changes to the service." (More, below.)
"In an interview with Computerworld last week, Ethan Beard, director of the site's developer network, defended Facebook's policies and even said users love the changes that Facebook has made. However, it seems calls for people to delete their Facebook accounts, which have gathered momentum, have not fallen on deaf ears at the company. Adding to the perception of a crisis on hand, the NY Times profiled on Wednesday a project called Diaspora, which is creating a more private, decentralized alternative to Facebook."
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Facebook Calls All-Hands Meeting On Privacy

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  • by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Thursday May 13, 2010 @06:59PM (#32201558) Homepage
    I would also like to see them offer some sort of standard way to export a user's photos, conversations, friend graph, and everything else needed to leave without being able to carry on some sort of continuous existence on another system. I would also like them to AGPL their software but I'm realistic and expect export is the best they will do so long as they're not challenged by a new system with the freedom to migrate [trygnulinux.com].
  • by rueger (210566) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:34PM (#32201932) Homepage
    You can (allegedly) actually delete it, but you need to find the secret link and wait out a two week cooling off period. [groovypost.com]

    In several US States you can actually buy a handgun faster than you can delete your Facebook account.
  • by 2muchcoffeeman (573484) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:31PM (#32202394) Journal

    Last year, which seems like the last time this bubbled up, Facebook took input from its members and eventually came up with a statement of Facebook Principles [facebook.com], which its members voted in favor of adopting by about a 3:1 margin. So what happened to that?

    Well, as Kurt Opsahl [eff.org] of the Electronic Frontier Foundation pointed out today [eff.org], Facebook's management didn't even pay lip service to those principles when it came up with the latest evolution of its privacy policy [eff.org] and things like Instant Personalization [eff.org].

    I haven't decided if this is a separate reason to dislike Facebook or part of the same reason for disliking Facebook. One thing I have decided: I'm glad I blew up my Facebook account.

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @09:33PM (#32202878) Homepage

    Click here to delete your Facebook account. [facebook.com] This is the less-publicized "real deletion" link, not just the "deactivate" link. However, if you log into your Facebook account for 14 days after clicking that link, your Facebook account will be re-activated.

  • by Mechanik (104328) on Friday May 14, 2010 @07:14AM (#32205484) Homepage

    The problem is not targeted ads. I don't mind having targeted ads at all. What I do mind is that stuff that I wanted to keep private being suddenly open to Everyone and to my friends and networks. Yes.. it's naked greed indeed. I disabled my account earlier today and don't see myself going back. Too much of a time sink anyway.

    Agreed. The targeted ads themselves don't give the advertiser any of your data.

    I actually ran an ad on Facebook for a couple of months to advertise the Fan Page for a charity that I volunteer for (shameless plug... it's the National Wild Turkey Federation [facebook.com]). All the ad targeting does is select parameters to match when deciding whether to show your ad to people. You can select things like gender, age, location, interests, etc. It tells you roughly how many people will match your criteria. As an advertiser, this is REALLY useful. I was able to target my ad and say "I only want to show this thing to people over 18 within 50 miles of my city that are interested in X, Y, and Z". That is the kind of direct targetability that everyone in the advertising industry wants. If someone doesn't match your criteria, they just plain won't be shown your ad, and you won't have to pay.

    It does NOT give you a list of their names and/or profiles, or anything else of their information. You get a number that says your criteria matches X number of profiles. That is it. And it does this without those profiles needing the information your criteria tries to match being public. I really fail to see how it's any invasion of privacy in and of itself.

    I'm not claiming that Facebook doesn't have some shitty privacy policies of late, but as the parent states, the targeted ads are not the problem here.

  • Re:Limey (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:20AM (#32207658) Journal

    Quit painting "corporate" America as the evil and "government" as the good slayer of dragons; they're a two-headed beast, often times the two are indistinguishable.

    You're right, to a point. Both corporations and the government are the enemy. But as Chomsky says at least governments are potentially democratic. Corporations are pure tyrannies.

    I find it "curious" that this corporate takeover happened exactly when slow and shitty dialup died and DSL and Cable became popular. I guess there is something inherent in broadband that let the big mean corporations rise up...So what am I supposed to conclude from THIS? That the corporations... improved things? (note: most ISPs even then were corporate-owned; I think you just really hate the word "corporate," so I can't be sure what you even mean by it).

    Here's where you go all wrong. It's not the corporations that made the internet better, it's the technology. That corporations control cable in a way that they don't control dial-up (e.g. anyone can talk to anyone else over the phone network) is just a historical accident. Send the government in to force the cable companies to lease bandwidth to smaller isps (after all they built that network with the help of the public.), that way we get all the benefits of the better technology, and the benefits of smaller ISPs.

In order to dial out, it is necessary to broaden one's dimension.

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