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Facebook Privacy IT Your Rights Online

Facebook Changes Privacy Policies, Scraps User Voting 119

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-it-and-weep dept.
Orome1 writes "The voting period for the proposed changes to Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy has ended on Monday, and despite the email sent out to the users asking them to review the changes and cast their vote, less than one percent of all users have done so. 'An external auditor has reviewed and confirmed the final results. Of the 668,872 people who voted, 589,141 recommended we keep our existing SRR and Data Use Policy,' stated Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications, public policy, and marketing. Still, that is not nearly enough to prevent the proposed changes — as required by Facebook, at least 30 percent of the users should have voted against them in order to keep the previous versions of the policies. Schrage pointed out that that the whole experience illustrated the clear value of Facebook's notice and comment process."
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Facebook Changes Privacy Policies, Scraps User Voting

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  • haha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:05PM (#42268477)

    Schrage pointed out that that the whole experience illustrated the clear value of Facebook's notice and comment process.

    It certainly succeeded in illustrating the value that process had, yes.

  • Re:haha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:22PM (#42268589) Journal

    If Facebook cared about users voting, there would have been a notice every time you log on and an interstitial notice every X pages you clicked through.

    Then again, there's no apathy like online apathy.

  • Re:haha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by earlzdotnet (2788729) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:26PM (#42268617)
    This is on par with having a tiny link at the bottom of your page "opt out of you selling all the information I provide here". No one is going to see it. I remember receiving the email, but that was just yesterday or the day before. And the email didn't really include anything about voting in the subject line, so I just assume it was another privacy policy update.

    If they cared at all about people voting, they would've had a longer time frame than 2 days, and they would've used Facebook, not email to get the word out that you can vote on it. Most people I know don't even remember the password, much less check, the email account associated with facebook.
  • 30%??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:31PM (#42268651) Homepage Journal

    Are 30% of FB users even active? How about the number of people with more than one account? What about people like my grandfather who only gets on FB to view updates and pictures from the dozen family that comprise his entire friend list?

    I assert that it is not even possible to get a response from 30% of FB users, especially with a passive voting process like this that requires the user to actively seek out and find where to vote. Maybe, just maybe, if FB would have put it right in front of the user's faces, where it was a popup message that has to be dismissed, then maybe up to 15-20% would participate.

  • Re:haha (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:33PM (#42268669) Homepage

    If Facebook cared about users voting, there would have been a notice every time you log on and an interstitial notice every X pages you clicked through.

    Then again, there's no apathy like online apathy.

    Unlike here at Slashdot where user voting on their privacy policies is so important that... hey, wait a minute...

  • by Andy Prough (2730467) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:46PM (#42268753)
    589,141 adult nerds are actively using Facebook

    Oh, and 99% (at least) of 14-year-old girls and spam bots don't care about Facebook's privacy policies.
  • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:52PM (#42268777)

    And this story, just like any other, fails to actually enumerate the changes are. Why? Because the changes, really, aren't a big deal at all.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-site-governance/explanation-of-changes/10152338051340301 [facebook.com]

    The only technical thing they're changing is the voting mechanism, which, as this shows, is pretty much broken. It was ok when Facebook was maybe 1000 people at a couple of US colleges, but since it requires a quorum of 30%, it's pretty much useless now.

    Everything else is basically a language change to provide clarification of existing policies, not an actual change of policies. And if you look at the comments on those posts, it's almost all people copy-and-pasting the same fake pseudo-legalese crap about ownership of data. If any of the people posting them had bothered reading the thing they were posting on, they'd see that Facebook has no intention of claiming ownership of posted content.

    So, all in all, it's a storm in a teacup, magnified by people who make money from faux outrage.

  • Re:haha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitallife (805599) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:05PM (#42268883)

    They probably don't care, and just didn't see a point in putting effort into bugging people. The reality is that its virtually impossible to get 30% of all Facebook users to even vote, let alone in agreement. In fact from stats I've seen, I don't even think 30% of facebook 'users' are active, let alone in the two day time frame they gave. Or put another way, if ever single user who logged into facebook during the vote had votes the same way, they'd be we'll short of the 30% requirement. The whole vote was just lip service to caring about what users think.

  • Re:Good Grief. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sir-gold (949031) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @11:09PM (#42269215)
    If the service is free, the product is YOU
  • by dala1 (1842368) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:35AM (#42269615)

    This wasn't a random sample.

  • Re:haha (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:12AM (#42270677) Journal

    Exactly, they have ruined their rep when it comes to email because they have been so spammy so myself and everybody I know automatically have anything emailed from FB go straight to spam. I mean you expect us to actually read a single email after you sent us something like 400 spam posts about any stupid Zynga game anybody we know has ever played?

    The only logical thing one can deduce from this is that they simply didn't want their users openions on the matter, as all they would have done is have a click through when you logged into FB and they would have had damned near 100% participation. The fact they didn't use what would be the most obvious avenue for anybody with a functioning brain cell just shows they wanted to slip this one under the door without looking like they were saying "fuck you!" to the users. Oh and FYI that is EXACTLY what they are doing, as the votes they DID get said in giant letters "DO NOT WANT" yet they are completely ignoring those users because they didn't get 30%...which they went out of their way to make sure they wouldn't get!

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