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Facebook under fire again

Publish date: 23 June 2010
Issue Number: 1341
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw & Management
Category: Privacy

Just when it seemed that Facebook's privacy tumult was quieting down, more fuel was added to the fire last week.

PC World reports that 10 privacy advocate groups penned an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to make changes to the highly popular social networking site. Among the recommendations is to give users more control over exactly which applications may access their information, as well as more control over how their information is shared with external sites. According to another PC World report, the issue of unencrypted data has also arisen, as any information you share is passed over the Internet which could be snooped on by hackers. The groups behind the letter include the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy. The distribution of the letter comes after months of user outrage that the social networking site was playing fast and loose with user information. According to the report, Facebook was hit with increasing criticism from privacy advocates and users after the Web site unveiled a bevy of tools that allowed user data to be easily shared with other Web sites. reports that the expectations and demands of privacy activists are unrealistic and uncommercial, according to one of America's top privacy law academics. Lobbyists for privacy rights should be more pragmatic and co-operate with companies, said Chris Hoofnagle, director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. First PC World report Second PC World report Full report