Facebook changes privacy policies, scraps user voting

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The voting period for the proposed changes to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy has ended on Monday, and despite the email sent out to the users asking them to review the changes and cast their vote, less than one percent of all users have done so.

“An external auditor has reviewed and confirmed the final results. Of the 668,872 people who voted, 589,141 recommended we keep our existing SRR and Data Use Policy,” stated Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications, public policy, and marketing.

Still, that is not nearly enough to prevent the proposed changes – as required by Facebook, at least 30 percent of the users should have voted against them in order to keep the previous versions of the policies.

Schrage pointed out that that the whole experience illustrated the clear value of Facebook’s notice and comment process.

“We understand that many of you feel strongly about maintaining the participatory nature of our site governance process. We do too. We believe that having a meaningful dialogue with our community through our notice and comment process is core to that effort moving forward. We also plan to explore and implement new, innovative and effective ways to enhance this process in order to maximize user engagement,” he concluded.

Among other things, Facebook will be launching a new feature on its Facebook and Privacy Page to let users submit questions about privacy to Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer of Policy, and these questions will be answered by her via regular webcasts.