Facebook voting is open; majority voting to keep existing proposals

The latest Facebook privacy policy changes are up for a vote Tuesday, including whether or not to continue to allow Facebook users to vote on new proposals.

The social network announced proposed changes to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and its data use policy late last month. In an explanation of the changes, Facebook said that it would like to change how it shares anonymous user information with its affiliates.

More tech stories

Parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

Parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

Meet the man who wants to make parking in a garage as fun as riding in an Uber.

Big data: A double-edged sword

Big data: A double-edged sword

New information will improve our health and prevent crimes, but uncover skeletons and hurt privacy.

White House updating online privacy policy

White House updating online privacy policy

A new Obama administration privacy policy explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain.

Part of the reason for this change, the company explained, is to deal with its recent acquisition of the photo-sharing site, Instagram.

“This provision covers Instagram and allows us to store Instagram’s server logs and administrative records in a way that is more efficient than maintaining totally separate storage systems,” according to a company blog post. “We’ve added additional language to this proposal to clarify 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.”

Other changes include adding language to clarify the difference between privacy settings and timeline visibility settings and updating the advertising policies to make it clear that user posts can be used in ads for political or religious views.

“This language does not mean that we are changing our Advertising Guidelines, which prohibit advertisers from running ads that assert or imply sensitive personal characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation,” the company said. “We’ve added additional language, including a link to our guidelines, to this proposal to make that clearer.”

In addition, Facebook clarified that it is not making changes to users’ ownership rights on the network.

The company is also holding a Webcast Tuesday to discuss the proposed updates. Users can access that Webcast through Facebook’s Washington DC Talks page

Users have until Dec. 10 at 3 p.m., Eastern, to weigh in on the proposed changes. Facebook users can choose either to adopt the new policies or stick to the current documents.

Thirty percent of Facebook’s 1 billion users have to weigh in on the vote to make any suggestion on the policies binding. In the past, the company said, Facebook voter turnout hasn’t been anywhere near those levels. If fewer than 30 percent of users weigh in, Facebook will take the comments as an advisory suggestion.

To get to the vote, users should sign up for the Facebook Governance Vote app. As of 9:20 a.m., Tuesday, 5,783 people had voted for the new policies, while 58,597 were in favor of keeping the status quo.

(The Washington Post Co.’s chairman and chief executive, Donald E. Graham, is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)

 
Read what others are saying