Facebook to provide users full control over data
The company's founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the member of the social networking site will now have comment and voting rights over its future policies.tech reviews Updated: Feb 28, 2009 18:19 IST
In response to the furore over Facebook's revision of user Terms of Service (TOS), the company's founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the member of the social networking site will now have comment and voting rights over its future policies.
The social-networking giant came under fire after Consumer advocacy blog The Consumerist reported that the revised policy allowed the website to hold a perpetual license to use its members'''' uploaded content to promote itself, even after their accounts had been deleted.
Despite Facebook announcing that it would drop the controversial revisions, experts claimed that the move would still not provide users with complete privacy over their data.
But now, Zuckerberg has given the users full control over the data, and said that the move was aimed to "open up Facebook so that users can participate meaningfully in our policies and our future," reports the BBC.
Simon Davies from Privacy International said that the move was "unprecedented".
Zuckerberg admitted that the recent changes to the website''s terms and conditions had sparked a "firestorm".
He said: "Some people might be wondering what the fuss is exactly about? After all, nobody ever reads the terms and conditions or terms of service documents on a website. We do not own user data, they [users] own it. We never intended to give that impression and feel really bad that we did."
The social networking site has announced a new set of governing principles and rights and responsibilities.
With the new changes in effect, users can first comment and then potentially vote on future changes to the documents.
Facebook will enact a vote on changes to its governance when more than 7,000 comments have been made by users on a topic.
Zuckerberg said: "We think that is pretty reasonable. We have designed the votes so a small minority of users cannot create a binding election."
The new Facebook charter states: "People should own their information. They should have the freedom to share it with anyone they want and take it with them anywhere they want, including removing it from the Facebook Service."
Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook had undertaken to carry out all of its business within the framework of the new governance documents.
He added: "We trust our users. We are making this so that we can''t put in place a new terms of service without users'' permission."
And he now hoped that the new policy would "strengthen the community and the bonds between us and the users."
First Published: Feb 28, 2009 12:54 IST