Facebook outlines new privacy policy

Oct 29, 2009
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Facebook outlined changes to its privacy policy on Thursday and asked for feedback from the social network's more than 300 million users.

Vice president of communications and public policy Elliot Schrage, in a post on the blog, said members will have until November 5 to send in their comments about the proposed changes.

"This is the next step in our ongoing effort to run Facebook in an open and transparent way," he said. "After the comment period is over, we'll review your feedback and update you on our next steps."

Some of the changes to Facebook's are the result of pressure from Canada, whose privacy czar conducted an investigation into its handling of personal information.

"In this revision," Schrage said, "we're fulfilling our commitment to the privacy commissioner of Canada to update our privacy policy to better describe a number of practices.

"Specifically, we've included sections that further explain the privacy setting you can choose to make your content viewable by everyone," he said.

Schrage said the changes also clarify the difference between deactivating and deleting an account and "the process of memorializing an account once we've received a report that the account holder is deceased."

Facebook said it will save profile information such as friend lists and photos from a deactivated account in case a member decides to reactivate it later but the material will not be viewable by other users.

It said a deleted account is "permanently deleted."

Facebook said information from a deleted account may still be viewable on the pages of other users if it was shared or copied and stored by them.

"However, your name will no longer be associated with that information on Facebook," it said, and will be attributed to an "anonymous Facebook user."

Facebook also stressed that is not provided to advertisers. "The information we provide to advertisers is 'anonymized,' meaning that it can't be traced back to you as an individual in any way," Schrage said.

(c) 2009 AFP

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