Nov 222012
 November 22, 2012  Posted by  Business, Non-U.S.

Stephanie Bodoni reports:

Irish regulators are seeking “urgent” clarifications from Facebook Inc. (FB) after the social media company informed users of changes to its privacy policy overnight.

Facebook, which is overseen by Irish data protection regulators in the European Union, said that it recently proposed changes to its data-use policy and its statement of rights and responsibilities. The changes give users more detailed information about shared data including “reminders about what’s visible to other people on Facebook.”

“We will be seeking urgent further clarification from Facebook Ireland and if we consider that the proposed changes require a specific consent from EU users we will require Facebook to do this,” Gary Davis, Ireland’s deputy data- protection commissioner, said in an e-mail today.

Read more on Bloomberg Businessweek.

Kimber Streams of  The Verge provides a description of the changes:

Facebook has proposed another set of updates to the documents that describe how it handles user data, and those changes reveal that it will be sharing data from other services it owns as well as removing the ability to block email messages from certain users outright. As part of the new Data Use Policy, Facebook wants to share user information across other Facebook-owned entities — such as Instagram — in order to “improve our own services and their own services.” The company also slipped in the ability to use that data to improve targeted advertising.

In addition, Facebook is removing the ability to control whether individuals can message you. However, in its proposal the company does state that it will be offering users new options — including filters — to help manage their inbox instead.

But wait, Facebook isn’t done messing with your privacy, as Salvador Rodriguez of the L.A. Times reports:

Facebook has proposed taking away users’ ability to vote on certain privacy policy changes and restructuring the social network’s governance process.

Currently, the Menlo Park-based social network allows users to vote if a proposed change to the policy receives more than 7,000 comments. Once a vote is triggered, if more than 30% of Facebook members participate, the results of the balloting stand.

In a post Wednesday, Facebook said the current system has become outdated because with 1 billion members, getting 7,000 comments is easy, but getting 300 million members to vote is a tough task.

“We’re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications, public policy and marketing, said in the post.

Nice, huh?

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