Close to 20,000 comments have been posted to express dismay or question Facebook
's proposal to use private information in paid advertisements. [CREDIT: MoneyBlogNewz via Creative Commons]
Facebook’s move to give government agencies and, soon, advertisers, free reign over the personal information of network users has reignited the debate on privacy in the social media sphere.
Only days after Facebook released the first Global Government Requests Report, which documents data requests made by governments in monitoring individuals, the social networking site drew strong reactions as it proposed changes to the way it mines data from private users.
Close to 20,000 comments have been posted to express dismay or question the proposal to use private information in paid advertisements after Erin Egan, chief privacy officer, announced the updates on the Facebook Site Governance page on Aug. 29.
A majority of the social media users who replied to the announcement made clear they will delete their accounts if their personal details appear in advertisements without their approval.
Other commenters pointed out how the changes will turn Facebook into ‘another corporate toy’ and that such measures will only make it ‘easier and more legit’ for groups such as the NSA to spy on private individuals.
Some users are, however, open to being compensated for their appearance in ‘Sponsored Stories’ but warn their rates are ‘steep,’ while other users are willing to pay a base fee to retain control of their content and prevent ads from appearing in their accounts.
The Data Use Policy updates would give Facebook and its advertisers the freedom to feature the name, profile picture, gender, network, and activities of private users in advertisements in order to promote sponsors and generate revenues for the social media company. A separate document on the rights and responsibilities of FB users will also be rewritten to clarify that users are ‘granting Facebook permission for this use’ when signing up for the social media group’s services.
The clarification over the amendments come after a US court approving a $20 million settlement between the site and about 614,000 users who claimed in 2011 that the company used their personal details in paid ads without their permission.
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