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    In the News: 10 Groups Write Open Letter to Facebook on Privacy

    Privacy Lives joined nine groups, including the ACLU of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in sending an open letter (pdf) to social-neworking site Facebook concerning its privacy policies. The letter, addressed to founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said:

    We are glad to see that Facebook has taken steps in the past weeks to address some of its outstanding privacy problems. However, we are writing to urge you to continue to demonstrate your commitment to the principle of giving users control over how and with whom they share by taking these additional steps:

    1. Fix the “app gap” by empowering users to decide exactly which applications can access their personal information.
    2. Make “instant personalization” opt-in by default.
    3. Do not retain data about specific visitors to third party sites that incorporate “social plugins” or the “like” button unless the site visitor chooses to interact with those tools.
    4. Provide users with control over every piece of information they can share via Facebook, including their name, gender, profile picture, and networks.
    5. Protect Facebook users from other threats by using an HTTPS connection for all interactions by default.
    6. Provide users with simple tools for exporting their uploaded content and the details of their social network so that users who are no longer comfortable with Facebook’s policies and want to leave for another social network service do not have to choose between safeguarding their privacy and staying connected to their friends.

    By addressing these outstanding issues, Facebook can continue to demonstrate its commitment to user privacy.

    The groups went on to detail the six problems and solutions. The letter was released today at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy 2010 conference in San Jose, California.

    The groups listed on the letter are:

    • ACLU of Northern California
    • Center for Democracy and Technology
    • Center for Digital Democracy
    • Consumer Action
    • Consumer Watchdog
    • Electronic Frontier Foundation
    • Electronic Privacy Information Center
    • PrivacyActivism
    • Privacy Lives
    • Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

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