This morning, a number of major advocacy groups, including the ACLU, EFF, and CDT, sent Facebook an open letter detailing some of the outstanding issues with Facebook privacy. The groups’ letter acknowledged that Facebook has made strides recently on this front, especially with its launch of new, simpler privacy controls, but that it hasn’t addressed some major privacy issues, like the fact that the controversial Instant Personalization feature is automatically opt-in.Wasting no time, Facebook has just responded with an open letter of its own.
Along with Instant Personalization, other issues addressed in the advocacy letter include the fact that Facebook is able to track user browsing behavior through its ‘Like’ buttons and other widgets (these widgets are served up by Facebook to third-party sites, so it can see which sites you’re visiting). And the letter says that users should have more control over what information third-party applications should have access to. Finally, the letter asks Facebook to give more control over what information mandatorily made public, and the ability to export data so that users can easily transition to social networks other than Facebook.
Facebook’s response addresses each issue point by point:
Here’s the full letter from the advocacy groups:
And Facebook’s response:
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...