WASHINGTON — A group of Democratic senators, including Al Franken, sent a letter to Facebook brass asking the social media giant to allow users to opt in to new privacy standards that share users’ information with third-party vendors, rather than having to opt out.
The vast changes (listed by CNN in great detail here) would allow people outside a designated friends network to see one’s interests, “likes” (recommended webpages and such) and other detail unless they specifically tell Facebook they’d rather that info not be quite so public.
“What we would like the default position to be is that you have to opt in,” Franken said, noting that some users disclose relatively private things on Facebook like sexual orientation; things they’re comfortable with friends seeing but not meant for the whole world’s view.
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said the group has also the Federal Trade Commission to issue social networking privacy and disclosure rules, whether Facebook complies or not. That could include the opt-in provision Schumer, Franken and others are pushing.
Schumer said it’s his understanding that the FTC has the authority to issue guidelines on social networking privacy settings, but if they don’t then he’ll look at legislation to ensure they do.