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Facebook Revamps Privacy Policy; Asks for Feedback

Facebook has tweaked its privacy policy and is asking its 300-million-plus user base for feedback by Nov. 5th.

This outreach is, some say, a wise move for the site, which has been burned by user backlash before on privacy issues - most famously over its now retired Beacon platform, which initially worried users over how much personal information would be released.

Still Riled Over Design

Users, though, appear to be less vested in this latest round of changes, likely because they originated from protests by the Canadian government over how the site uses members' information. Hours after Facebook posted its policy for review, users seemed largely unaware that a policy shift was even taking place.

Most of the comments in response to VP Elliot Schrage's post announcing the change were from Facebook devotees still rankled about the homepage design changes. Comments such as  "I hate the new format. I hate having to read three feeds. Please change it back," and   "Everyday it gets more and more FRUSTRATING with this new layout!" were commonplace.

Still, as news of the review spreads, debate about the change is bound to pick up. The Facebook Site Governance group, for instance, has 169,745 fans who joined to keep tabs on how Facebook uses their information.

Marketing Impacted

A user uprising could also be sparked by portions of the policy that outline how marketers can access their information. For example, it is now clear that users profiles that can be viewed by everyone are open to indexing by search engines. Facebook also outlined how it plans to leverage its data on users' location in its marketing.

"When you share your location with others or add a location to something you post, we treat that like any other content you post (for example, it is subject to your privacy settings). If we offer a service that supports this type of location sharing we will present you with an opt-in choice of whether you want to participate," the new policy stated.

Not that users don't get riled anymore over what Facebook does with their data. This summer, Download Squad ran a colorfully titled post looking at how third-party ad networks have been using members' photos in ads - a post to which All Facebook responded in an attempt to clarify — and to placate anxious users.

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