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Coming Your Way... Less Intrusive Facebook Data Policies? 64

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-the-people-what-they-want dept.
ainandil writes "Facebook may have to alter its data use policy now that grassrooters have driven enough complaints about the company's proposed data usage policy to trigger a user vote on the matter. 'Facebook's proposed changes to its data use policy include new explanations of its data deletion practices as well as the controls that users have over the sharing of information with third-party applications. However, 47,824 users commented on the plans with many posting opposition to the planned new terms and instead calling for the chance to vote on the "demands" outlined by Europe-v-Facebook.' Does this mean the days of the man-in-the-middle attack as social media are numbered?"
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Coming Your Way... Less Intrusive Facebook Data Policies?

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  • by allo (1728082) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @05:59AM (#40127203)

    Lets say, i publish something under these terms, then they change them again. of course they are not allowed to use the old material under the new terms without my consent, but i would assume they do it anyway. 99,99% of all people will not notice, the rest will not sue. And if i would like to sue them for doing so, i do not think there will be a good chance to win against a big corporation like facebook.
    So, as long as they try to cover it for most of us with new terms and implied consent, there will be never enough users going to court to stop them from changing their mind every other time.

    • by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @06:33AM (#40127319)
      Works for any plutocracy - hold elections, people think they are represented.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuricouRaven (1897204)
      Unless the old terms included a clause stating that they may change the terms in future and that your acceptance of the new terms is implied by your continued use of the service. It's a standard clause.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        not sure about elsewhere, but that standard clause could be unenforceable in the UK because it could be deemed "unfair" under the UK consumer protection laws.

    • I imagine the old data would probably be grandfathered in by the new agreement, so that everything is consistent. Given how often Facebook changes its security policy, to do otherwise would be a maintenance nightmare.

    • by houghi (78078) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @08:08AM (#40127573)

      I do not think there will be a good chance to win against a big corporation like [...]

      So the problem lies not with Facebook. It lies with the legal system and thus with the politicians that uphold that system. And those are voted for.

      So vote for a party that wants to change radically and have the country for the people, by the people. OK, you will be called a Communist or worse. But that is what it would take.

      • by allo (1728082)

        the problem is, people accept looooooong contracts for websites, which they do not even read. And those who read them, do not fully understand all implications. And you have no option to make a counter-offer, like strike out some paragraphs, make handwritten amendments or something like this.

        But just as i said, i suppose Facebook does much "no one will ever know we're doing it, and if somebody finds out we write it into the fineprint and have the retroactive approval".

        The Problem with data hogs like faceboo

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          This is why the EU should write a set of standard clauses web sites can use and not allow anything else. It would save a lot of legal arguing over agreements too.

    • by MogNuts (97512)

      Amen. FB will simply not stop. Every few weeks I see some absolutely egregious and utterly jaw-dropping privacy violation. They go out of their way to NOT care about your privacy. And it's not even it's their business model which won't let them. So I have no idea why. But not only do they just don't, but they never will, and will ALWAYS make a horrific new blunder.

      People: stop. Using. Facebook!

      And no (this rant isn't direct at you allo), you don't need facebook. And yes, people say but but but "it's so usef

      • by allo (1728082)

        you can rant to me, i am not using facebook and never did. I hope i can resist until facebook is going where myspace went.

        • by MogNuts (97512)

          Not that I have a use for FB anyway, but if I needed social networking for some silly reason, I'd *rather* use myspace hah. At least a private profile is private! And people can't link your pictures, with or without permission. Myspace is a privacy heaven compared to FB.

          Tho regardless, not that I care. I simply have no need for FB. When I'm at work, I'm working or I give a friend a few texts or a short call to talk a bit. Then I'm at the gym or go out and meet with friends. Weekend it's running errands and

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

        And yes, I do realize people suck nowawayds with returning calls. But I've learned the hard way EVERYONE responds and responds quickly to texts.

        I have never and will never respond to a text. And if anyone in a meeting with me does, I will very patiently wait until he or she is done, then start up again after asking if they are finished.

        Do not ever fall into the ego trap that every time you want something, you must be served immediately. Nothing is as cute as a room full of 6, sometimes 7 figure people where some one has to get a very critical wazzup? text. Now that's a burn rate.

        • by MogNuts (97512)

          I'm in my early thirties and so are my friends. Ever attempt to get a call back within a *week* with ANYONE? Not me, and my closest friends are awesome in returning calls. And forget casual acquaintances. At least with a text, it'll at least be within 3 hours. I just gave up. I may be reliable and call back within the day, but nobody else is. Sometimes you pick your battles.

          I'm not talking about meetings. That's just plain rude. I'd do the same gosh darn thing.

          • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

            I'm in my early thirties and so are my friends. Ever attempt to get a call back within a *week* with ANYONE?

            Perhaps I don't use the phone like other people. I make calls when I need to. If the other person doesn't call me back, they are going to get a personal visit if they are in the same building. I'm not being a jerk, just reinforcing that when I make a call, it needs to be answered. If they have a problem with talking on the phone, we'll take care of that. I've seen way too many people who seem to think that texting is all that. One guy I knew just said he didn't talk on the phone with other people, even text

            • by MogNuts (97512)

              Oh I'm talking about in personal lives. Not the workplace. Never had a problem at work. And besides, everyone uses email and replies are quick. I call people because I just like to talk to people. Makes the day more enjoyable.

  • Until ./ develop a fire army to defend against the chinese water army, this shit will be completely unusable.

  • Like buttons (Score:4, Interesting)

    by game kid (805301) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @06:02AM (#40127219) Homepage

    Expect absolutely nothing more than We The People-style "binding" action if things even get that far. This is Facebook--they're not the judge or the jury, they are the criminal.

    That said, I'd love for the third-to-last point in the proposal to be approved, for this to get Like buttons to finally be neutered (i.e. wiped off the net, or turned into non-tracking thingers, or something like that). Then I'd only block Facebook with (e.g.) avast or AdBlock instead of at the h...is that guy that rambles on and on about that file around...no?--what? Oh, you said "Don't know"? Ah. Anyway...the file with the names and number thingies! Yeah, at that level.

    • The thing is that the proposal is just user-proposed alternatives -- however nowhere in FB's terms does it obligate itself to accept suggestions/proposals from its users. Instead (emphasis added):

      If more than 7,000 users comment on the proposed change, we will also give you the opportunity to participate in a vote in which you will be provided alternatives. The vote shall be binding on us if more than 30% of all active registered users as of the date of the notice vote.

      So - first, the only alternatives we'll see are those given by FB. Second - they've pretty well protected themselves with the "30% of all active registered users" clause, since there's no practical way 30% of all active users will vote at all, never mind in the same way.

  • Does not compute (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 27, 2012 @06:05AM (#40127227)

    Facebook's stock is nosediving. And since it is now a public company the stockholders will be demanding to see profits.

    Why would they shoot themselves in the foot with these data policies? It isn't as if their current policies have caused a mass exodus. And there really isn't any major competition on the horizon.

    I'm guessing this is just smoke and mirrors.

    • by Kalriath (849904)

      Demand all they like - Zuckerberg's shares outvote them by orders of magnitude. And all those shareholders agreed to the company's constitution which sets out those rules.

      • Re:Does not compute (Score:4, Informative)

        by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @06:59AM (#40127421)

        Even though he has majority of voting rights, as part the IPO, he has agreed to uphold the "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities". If this statement specifically mentions a specific right or makes a certain promise, he cannot overrule it, despite holding majority of the rights.
         
          In this case, they have specifically mentioned that if "More than 30 per cent of all active registered users as of the date of the notice" vote in favour of something, it is binding and Zukerberg cannot overrule (he can try to work around, stall it etc, but not directly overrule it).

        • In practice that means getting ~250 million people to vote. Good luck with that.

          In addition, the vote is not on user-provided alternatives. Instead, "you will be provided alternatives". So the folks at "our-policy.org" are basically participating in a nice exercise in mental masturbation.

        • by bsane (148894)

          Of course he runs the systems that tally the votes...

  • Not gonna happen. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 27, 2012 @06:36AM (#40127333)
    No way 30% of all "active" users are going to vote, unless they are made to by Facebook (the party that has most to lose)
  • comparison (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @08:17AM (#40127591)

    When I send a text-message to a bunch of friends using my mobile phone via my telco, the telco is certainly not allowed to inspect the contents of the message, let alone to share it directly or indirectly with 3rd parties, such as advertisers.

    Now in many ways, facebook is similar to a telco. On facebook I'm also sending messages to other people, only usually these messages are sent to more than one person, but the group of people is still restricted (to my friends).I think we may rightfully ask why facebook and other social media companies are able to give themselves the right to share and sell contentual data that is targeted at a restricted group of people.

    In fact, I think there should be a law that states that any data send through a communications facilitator (telco or social media company or otherwise) that is directed to a RESTRICTED group of people, should be treated as confidential.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      When I send a text-message to a bunch of friends using my mobile phone via my telco, the telco is certainly not allowed to inspect the contents of the message, let alone to share it directly or indirectly with 3rd parties, such as advertisers.

      Well, that's why clever people invented Whatsapp [whatsapp.com]. It conveniently supports a global data tap on user SMS - and they all are happy to do it because it does so much more (read: the user also provides all those nice images). And because Apple didn't wanted to be left ou

      • From your link to priv.gc.ca:

        43. On May 15, 2010, the system administrator consolidated the payload data onto an encrypted hard drive, segregated by country. A second copy of the encrypted hard drive was made for security and backup preservation. The four original disks were then destroyed in a disk deformer.

        44. A Google employee personally delivered one encrypted hard drive to another Google location for safekeeping, while the system administrator kept the other one in a secure location. Once the Google e

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      why facebook and other social media companies are able to give themselves the right to share and sell contentual data that is targeted at a restricted group of people

      Because you agreed that it was alright for them to do that. Therefore, they do.

      Personally, I don't think it's alright for them to do that, so I did not agree, and thus, do not use their service in any way, including loading their "like" buttons from other sites. And you know what? I still seem perfectly able to communicate with friends and family online, because facebook is not the internet, and as shocking as this is, there are many other ways to communicate online, ranging from private 1:1 communicatio

      • Because you agreed that it was alright for them to do that. Therefore, they do.

        Sure. But people need to be protected against themselves, not just for themselves but for society as a whole. To understand this, consider the following.

        If there was a supermarket that sold bread at $0.01, but you only could get one if you punched yourself in the face and put the video on youtube, then you can bet that there would be people that would do that.

        Then consider that these supermarkets gain so many clients that "regular" supermarkets become a niche, increasing the price of "normal" bread.

        The anal

    • by Sepodati (746220)

      Is FB selling your data or is this assumed? The last time I read through the policies, they clearly showed that advertisers could choose "trigger" words or topics and pay to run ads based on the triggers. Your content was never sent anywhere, though.

    • You pay your phone service provider $X per month for the use of their network. Your telco has little reason to inspect your data, they're already making money from everyone's monthly bills (that being said, don't give them any ideas).

      You pay Facebook with your privacy and, at this point, no one would be willing to pay for it with actual money. Such a law would surely be Facebook's doom, and that's all anyone would take away from it. Would you want to be the congressman who killed Facebook?

      Don't get me wro

    • You tell that to those who were arrested following a series of BBM messages - BBM is supposed to be encrypted! Those messages were intercepted straight off the RIM servers!

      See, when there's something like that set up (BBM, Skype, PGP), heavy encryption that the public can use, you'll notice that it's nowhere near military grade encryption which is practically unbreakable. Those seed algorithms that make it into the "wild", so to speak, are those algorithms which the security services have been supplied with

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @12:02PM (#40128715)

    We have one freedom left to us: the freedom to choose.

    We can choose to accept the terms that come with using a service such as Facebook, with the understanding that they operate for profit and they can use our data to achieve that end. Or, we can choose not to use Facebook and deprive them and their shareholders of that revenue - which in all fairness, is a pittance when counted individually; there are idiots who will click on every ad and buy everything that's shoved in front of them, and that collective revenue potential is what makes Facebook worth more than the global wheat industry.

    CHOICE. It is our last remaining personal freedom. USE IT OR LOSE IT.

  • Wasn't there a slew of projects to replace Facebook with a distributed privacy model few years ago? Most people were hyped up about Diaspora, but that thing can't even provide a properly working UI yet.

    • Hmm? To me, the only thing "wrong" with diaspora is that nobody is using it... including me :/ If everybody I'm (actual) friends with on facebook used diaspora, I'd be content. For an alpha, and for what it does, the UI seems fine to me? I'll give you that it's even more bland than Facebook and G+, but hey.. show them some love (and give them feedback!), that stuff isn't easy to do. I mean the backend when I say that, but the UI depends on the backend, so yeah, cut them some slack -- or do it better. Seriou

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