" ITREALMS: Facebook may tighten privacy policy

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Facebook may tighten privacy policy

The rave of the moment electronic social networking tool, Facebook (FB), may be considering a tighter privacy policy, insisting that children under 13 years are not eligible to subscribe to its services.

This indication emerged last weekend with the update notification sent to FB users centered on nine-point, encompassing the introduction, information FB receives, sharing of information, information users share with third parties, how FB uses subscribers information, how FB shares information, how users can change or remove information, how FB protects information and other terms.

The latest Facebook Site Governance on Privacy Policy proclaimed last Friday, showed that Facebook as a certified licensee of the Truste Privacy Seal Programme has privacy policy and practices that have been reviewed by Truste, an independent organization focused on reviewing privacy and security policies and practices, for compliance with its strict programme requirements in the United States under the watchful eyes of the Department of Commerce (DoC).

This privacy policy, Facebook proponents said, covers the website www.facebook.com, while the Truste programme covers only information that is collected through this web site, and does not cover other information, such as information that may be collected through software downloaded from Facebook.

While advising Facebookers to contact the company if they have any complaints about policy or practices, before reaching out to Truste in the case of non-satisfaction, they said that Facebook is reputed to adhering to the ‘Safe Harbor’ framework developed by DoC and the European Union.

“As part of our participation in the Safe Harbor, we agree to resolve all disputes you have with us in connection with our policies and practices through Trustee,” part of the policy stated.

They warned that this privacy policy covers all of Facebook, but however, applies to entities that Facebook does not own or control, such as applications and websites using platform.

“No information from children under age 13. If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible,” they declared, maintaining that those under this category must seek parental permission for participation.

On the information FB receives, the promoters of the largest social networking site in the world, noted that when people sign up for Facebook they provide their names, electronic mail (email), gender, and birth date.

“During the registration process we give you the opportunity to connect with your friends, schools, and employers. You will also be able to add a picture of yourself. In some cases we may ask for additional information for security reasons or to provide specific services to you,” they said.

One of the primary reasons people use Facebook is to share content with others, this the proponents said includes when users make update of their status, upload or take a photo, upload or record a video, share a link, create an event or a group, make a comment, write something on someone’s Wall, write a note, or send someone a message.

Warning that if users do not want FB to store metadata associated with content they share on Facebook such as photos, they could remove the metadata before uploading the content.

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