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December 4, 2012

Facebook lets users vote on proposed voting policy

Facebook’s recent changes to its voting privacy policies received a backlash from users and privacy watchdogs.

By Tineka Smith

The social network has amended the planned changes to end user voting on privacy policy issues after receiving criticism from Facebook users and consumer groups.

The company had announced last month that it was revoking member rights to vote on privacy policies.

Facebook said the current voting system "incentivised the quantity of comments over their quality."

"We’re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement," said Facebook in a statement.

The changes also removed users’ ability to prevent strangers from sending them unwanted messages, which many said could facilitate spam.

The company also announced it would be combining personal information from Instagram and Facebook which raised concerns among data protection watchdogs.

"We have sought and received clarifications on a number of aspects and have outlined our position in relation to what consent will be required for aspects of the policy," a spokesperson from the Data Protection Commissioner told The Telegraph.

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"Facebook Ireland has understood this position and we expect the proposed data use policy to be modified to take account of these issues," said the Office of the Irish data protection commissioner.

Facebook has now announced it will post a revised version of the Data Use Policy that includes the new proposed changes.
The social network has also clarified in the proposal how it will share information with its affiliates.

"We’ve revised this proposal to make it clear that the sharing of information among our affiliates is and will be done in compliance with all applicable laws, and where additional consent of our users is required, we will obtain it."

Facebook is now giving users the ability to vote on the ability to continue voting, along with its additional clarifications to the Data Use Policy.

Facebook members can participate in the vote by clicking here. Voting will end on December 10 at 12PM (PST) and 8PM (GMT).

Facebook will also be holding a live broadcast on December 4 at 9:30 PST to answer questions from users.

Please follow this writer on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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