CNet reports that New York Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer (a Democrat) is calling for the Federal Trade Commission to look into privacy and social-networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Google Buzz.
New York Senator Charles Schumer has come out swinging against new announcements by Facebook that modify how much member data is shared with third-party companies, suggesting that the Federal Trade Commission needs to promptly address the issue of social-network privacy.
A press release from Schumer’s office announced that he has written to the FTC to ask that the agency “examine the privacy disclosures of social-networking sites to ensure they are not misleading or fail to fully disclose the extent to which they share information…(and) provide guidelines for use of private information and prohibit access without user permission.”
This was prompted by the new products and services unveiled by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the social network’s annual developer conference, which took place in San Francisco last week. The big showcase at F8 was the “Open Graph,” which aims to forge firmer channels of communication between multiple social-networking sites. In conjunction, Facebook rolled out something called “Instant Personalization,” which lets users easily share the bulk of their personal profile information with third-party companies. […]
Facebook public policy representative Andrew Noyes replied to a request for comment, saying via e-mail that “we were surprised by Senator Schumer’s comments and look forward to sitting down with him and his staff to clarify.”
In the press release, Schumer said:
In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Schumer expressed his concern about the collection and sharing of data on these social networking sites and the disclosure process by which users are notified that their private information is being shared. He noted there are no guidelines for user privacy on social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter and that ever-changing privacy policies adopted by networks are often confusing to understand.
Schumer asked Chairman of the FTC to examine the privacy disclosures of social networking sites to ensure they are not misleading or fail to fully disclose the extent to which they share information. He also urged the FTC to provide guidelines for use of private information and prohibit access without user permission.