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Facebook Weighs Privacy Changes (Again)

Facebook is asking for your feedback, and that can mean only one thing: changes are afoot.

By Paul Suarez, PC World
March 29, 2010 10:51 AM ET

PC World - Facebook is apparently again considering changes to its Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities -- and you know how well those tend to go over with Facebook's population.

In a post yesterday, Michael Richter, Facebook's deputy general counsel, announced a proposed change to Facebook's policies "to make way for some exciting new products."

One of those changes would make it possible for Facebook to send your name, photo, friend list and any public information about you and your friends to preapproved third-party Web sites. Richter said the idea is you would get a more personalized experience when visiting the select sites. Users would also be able to opt out of specific Web sites, or from the feature altogether. But take note: opt out means that if this feature is implemented, it will be enabled by default.

The good news is the policy states logging out of Facebook before visiting other sites will prevent them from being able to access your information, regardless of your privacy settings.

Richter also noted a small change in the terminology of the location feature. Instead of adding a location to something you post on Facebook, you can attach it to a place that would essentially be a Page for a company, restaurant, or other service. Richter said more details, including privacy controls, will be added as Facebook finalizes the product.

Privacy Policy changes have caused issues for Facebook in the past.

Last year, a subtle change to the terms of use seemed to give the social networking site ownership of users' data -- even if they deleted their account. When the Electronic Privacy Information Center announced it intended to file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, Facebook backed down. Shortly after, Facebook changed its policy to inform users of proposed changes before they came into effect.

With the most recent post, Facebook is describing its plans and requesting comment. However, remember -- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says privacy is so 20th century.

Originally published on www.pcworld.com. Click here to read the original story.

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