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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Senator Charles E. Schumer says he would be willing to introduce legislation to ensure privacy of user data

Facebook is the most popular social network online and boasts hundreds of millions of users who visit the site every day to meet up with friends and play games. Facebook is working hard to turn itself into a moneymaking juggernaut and monetize all the traffic it gets.

As Facebook tries to remake itself into a profit-making entity, it has changed its privacy settings numerous times to make more of its users' information available to outside parties and searchable online. The user information allows advertisers to target ads to the specific user groups who would be the most likely to purchase their products.

The changes in privacy policy and privacy settings have upset some users and lawmakers in Washington. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated in the past that people no longer have the same expectations of privacy online. Facebook has also had a number of technical errors that have resulted in user information being exposed inadvertently. One of the most recent was an error that caused private email addresses of users to be viewable by all users. 

Recent changes in privacy settings on the social network have led Senator Charles E. Schumer to ask Facebook to fix its privacy policy that allows user data to be offered to third parties. The Senator believes that the change raises major privacy concerns for millions of Facebook users. Schumer wants Facebook to allow users to block their personal information form access by third party firms without their consent. Schumer believes that the changes made last month to the privacy policy on Facebook will fundamentally affect the relationship between users and the social network.

Schumer said, "Millions of New Yorkers use social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter every day with an expectation that their private information is shared only with those they choose to connect with. These sites have helped reconnect old friends, allow families from far away to stay in touch, and created new friendships; overall they provide a great new way to communicate.

As these sites become more and more popular, however, it’s vitally important that safeguards are in place that provide users with control over their personal information to ensure they don’t receive unwanted solicitations and other nuisances, and that they are not automatically gathered into online groups without their consent,” Schumer continued. “The default policy should be one of privacy, and users should be in control of how they choose to share their information, not the other way around."

Schumer has also expressed concern to the FTC about the collection and sharing of personal data on social networking sites. He asked the FTC Chairman to examine the privacy disclosures of social networking sites to ensure the disclosures aren't misleading or failing to fully disclose how their information will be shared.

The letter Schumer sent to Zuckerberg raised three main concerns; the publicly available data on Facebook about members, third-party data storage, and instant personalization feature. Schumer has also noted that if the FTC doesn't believe it has the authority to issue guidelines on privacy disclosures, that he would be willing to offer legislation.



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Let me see if I have this correct...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/28/2010 10:42:41 AM , Rating: 5
The Bank where I have my loans with (Mortgage, College, credit cards) things that were pretty necessary to do in order to live my current life style; They force me to give my social security number, correct birthday, full address, phone number, full name, sex (male/female), income, personal wealth, and other private matter can sell my information to anyone they wish. However, facebook a place I can choose to go to or not, a place I can give out false information - (like a different birthday, or say I live somewhere else), a place where I can choose what I say and what information I put out to my "friends" and out to the public can not sell my information???

Man I hate most of our Government officials. They all seem to be idiots.




RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By RW on 4/28/2010 10:50:08 AM , Rating: 3
Facebook has also some idiotic rules that will block you for several days if you somehow manage to add to many friends to your friend list.
And they say that if you maintain the same behaviour they will ban your account, now that's what I call STUPID AND RETARDED RULES.


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Spacecomber on 4/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/28/2010 1:41:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
TextYour surprised that an institution that it lending you money needs more personal information than a social networking site??? And, they want that information to be accurate and not fradulent?


Ah.. No, never said I was surprised they wanted more accurate information... Never even came close to saying that.... I was surprised they are allowed to sell my very accurate information to the highest bidder, while a Senator wants to give facebook grief about selling information that I have chosen to make public.

If you do not think your bank, phone company, and other institution are not selling your information, you are being silly. Now, does this mean everyone is selling your information. No, of course it does not mean that... however, it is a common practice and your information is sold a lot more then you realize.


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Anoxanmore on 4/28/2010 3:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
That is where you are incorrect, as of 2001 banks are not allowed to sell any information to another market.

They can share information with their affilates but that does just what google does when you search, IE: Target Marketing.

Its AdSense for banks. Hence the inserts with your credit card bills and what not.


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/28/2010 3:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
They always had inserts with you credit card bills... Well since 1990 when I opened my first credit card account. OK, I have not read the paper work on a new credit card form in a few years... but the last one I read stated by signing here and opening an account they had the right to sell your information. I do not remember exact words. Of course they could not sell to say any off the streets, but other banks and such yes. Think about it, if you have a mortgage in the past year or two you probably have received 20 letter with details about your mortgage and how they can save you money (giving you an exact dollar) now if you re-finance today. I did not give that mortgage information to anyone... but everyone seems to know what I pay, total balance and more.


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Anoxanmore on 4/28/2010 3:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
Not always, prior to the introduction of the FICO score(and the Experian, Trans Union, Equifax) credit card statements were just random generation of marketing material. Now they have some marketing direction based on what you buy with that credit card. (Only internal companies)

You do realize that any bank can do a soft pull on your credit report and get all the information without having the information sold to them. They can not however, get your actual credit score which is why they say "do it now" before the credit score changes or the risk factors change.


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/28/2010 4:05:48 PM , Rating: 2
"do a soft pull on your credit report"

Was not thinking about that... however, that would be a good thing not to allow... doing a soft pull then printing up all my private information (address, payments..) then putting it into a public mail system with my private information. Now I have to go through all my "junk" mail to shred paper work some bank created to try and sell me their plan. Thanks for putting my private information at risk, Bank who I do not use.
Stop that, as I can really be harmed by others people actions... Facebook, I can only be harmed by what I decided to share. If I post a photo of me in a g-string, gut hang a bit over the string, hair chest with coconut oil, sunglass on, one Mia-Tie in each hand and smoking a fat doobbie in mouth... Well sorry and that my dumb a$$ fault not facebook. Bank mailing information about my loan without my request or me having an account with them, is their fault not mine...


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Anoxanmore on 4/28/2010 4:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
I have the picture of you, I promise not to sell it to anyone. ;)


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/28/2010 4:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
And do not look if I bend over to pick something up off the ground... People, have lost their minds over that view. I think it works the same way a black hole does... Sucking all common sense and reason from anyone looking straight into the darkness.... :P


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Anoxanmore on 4/28/2010 4:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
I thought that was caused by your nick name on here? :p


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/28/2010 4:57:28 PM , Rating: 2
My nick name gains its power from the depths of the black hole. :P


By chagrinnin on 4/28/2010 6:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
If he asks "How deep?",...PLEASE,...don't answer. Some things just aren't meant to be shared. :P


By damianrobertjones on 4/28/2010 10:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
With your post, I think you've pretty much nailed everything. Great post


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By nafhan on 4/28/2010 11:39:25 AM , Rating: 2
Elected officials generally have a primary goal of keeping their job. Achieving this goal may or may not involve actually helping their constituents. This means that activities that generate a lot of good press with little effort are likely to get their attention regardless of the possible outcome.


By shin0bi272 on 4/28/2010 11:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
Oh to have an elected official that has a spine and stands up for the constitution and limited government and doesnt pander to every group for every vote possible... Oh wait we had one... Reagan.

Alas I fear we will not have another one of his caliber because the lefties would find anything they could to immolate them.


RE: Let me see if I have this correct...
By niaaa on 4/28/2010 11:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
proof that US banks have the right to do this?


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/28/2010 1:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
read the fine print on all your bank paper work. You are usually signing to agree to let them sell your information. Your credit cards forms are good places to start... The sign up forms.


Expectation of privacy?
By Schrag4 on 4/28/2010 2:23:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Schumer said, "Millions of New Yorkers use social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter every day with an expectation that their private information is shared only with those they choose to connect with.


I appreciate that Mr. Schumer is looking out for my privacy (not) but maybe these "millions of New Yorkers" should re-evaluate their expectations about whether anything they do online is private or not. They could just read the fine print before they register at one of these places.

Another example of the government trying to protect those who don't take even 5 minutes to protect themselves. Apparently it's my job (as a taxpayer) to make sure you don't do anything stupid to yourself.




RE: Expectation of privacy?
By ZachDontScare on 4/28/2010 3:15:07 PM , Rating: 3
Chucky isnt looking out for your privacy... Chucky is looking out for Chucky.

I guess ol' Zuck's gonna learn what happens now when you dont give enough $$$ to certain people's re-election funds.


Power whores
By ZachDontScare on 4/28/2010 3:10:27 PM , Rating: 3
looks like the power whores have found yet another target to wrap their greasy fingers around. Cant let social networking sites go unregulated! How can they survive without the wisdom of politicians - the source of all enlightenment in the world? Schumer is a total disgrace. One of the most self-serving powermongers on capital hill.




Nonsense
By rs1 on 4/28/2010 3:24:52 PM , Rating: 3
While I agree that Facebook's default privacy settings aren't very private, Facebook is a free, opt-in service being offered by a privately owned and operated company, and they are entitled to use whatever privacy policy they feel like. They link to their privacy policy on their sign-up page. Nobody is compelled to participate in Facebook, and if you have issue with their privacy policy, then the correct response is to simply not participate.

I don't necessarily agree with Facebook here, but the notion that the government should get to dictate the privacy policies of a free, optional, privately operated service is just insane. How about getting rid of the warrantless wiretapping program, first?




By shin0bi272 on 4/28/2010 11:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
shouldnt we be asking where chucky "schmuck you" schumer thinks he or the rest of congress gets the power to concern themselves with this? Or how about steroids in baseball? Or whether or not we all have health insurance?

For those who havent read it the constitution outlines 17 powers for congress in article 1 section 8.

http://topics.law.cornell.edu/constitution/article...

In clause 3 the term "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states" used to mean to ensure the continuation of trade. Meaning if a northern state wouldnt trade with a southern state because of slavery the congress could step in and force them to trade with each other. They didnt mean that congress can write laws if there's even a tertiary or tangential connection to trade (like the health care bill ... there is no such power in the constitution but they claim that since doctors use products that are made out of the state they practice in congress get to tell you you have to have health insurance).




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