Facebook has a rocky history with privacy changes and resulting backlash from members. In that post, Facebook also proposed to end public voting on changes to site governance. The voting option was first rolled out in 2009 in response to privacy complaints over a chance to the sites term of use.
Voting opened on Monday, and users have until Monday, December 10, at noon PST to make their opinions heard. Facebook has put up a custom voting app powered by a third-party company for this vote, and the results will be tallied by an independent auditor.
“This feedback allows us to respond to your questions and make substantive changes to our proposals before they are implemented,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications and public policy, said in a blog post announcing the vote.
Facebook proposed the latest changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities on November 21. Users and privacy groups immediately expressed concerns over the modifications. In addition to a proposed end to public voting on these types of issues, Facebook wanted to change to how users control who can send them messages. Also, an addition to the Data Use Policy would allow Facebook to share data with affiliated business, such as Instagram.
On Friday, two privacy groups, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy, sent an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg objecting to the proposal.
Facebook has a rocky history with privacy changes and resulting backlash from members.
In 2009, the site made previously private data such as friend lists and profile photos public by default. The following year, users were automatically oped into a new “Instant Personalization” feature that shared private information with outside companies such as Pandora.