Privacy advocates this week wrote to social networking giant Facebook in the latest of a long line of criticisms of its privacy policies. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the ACLU of Northern California, and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) complained in an open letter (3-page / 98KB PDF) to the company that it did not do enough to protect the personal information people post to the site.
Such demands will never be successful, though, because they run so counter to the business interests of companies, Chris Jay Hoofnagle told podcast OUT-LAW Radio. Hoofnagle was speaking before that letter was made public.
Hoofnagle is director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology’s information privacy programs and senior fellow to the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic.
“The privacy advocates have been less than pragmatic on these issues and they’re calling for interventions that I don’t think will protect privacy,” he said, speaking of criticisms expressed by various organisations in recent months. “[They also] might be commercially impossible to put into play.”
Read more on Out-Law.com
I contacted Chris Hoofnagle by e-mail to ask him if he had any comments now that he’s seen the letter the privacy groups sent. Chris responded:
The Out-Law article is a little strange, because I wasn’t referring to that letter; in fact, I hadn’t even seen it. I was referring to the rote reliance on fair information practices to solve some questions! The letter actually has pretty pragmatic and reasonable recommendations.