Facebook presses pause on privacy updates as complaints intensify online


MUMBAI: Facebook, which wants to profit from user data, and privacy advocates and users who don’t want their personal information pimped out without their permission. Recent changes to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy altered the language to give the company wider berth when it comes to using personal information. Now, the language states that by using the site, people automatically grant Facebook permission to use their information for advertising purposes involving brands you ‘like.’ 

Facebook denies that the language changes to the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy will allow for additional data grabs. Users upset that their personal information was used by brands that they had ‘liked’ on Facebook without their consent banded together in a class action lawsuit.


Facebook may have implemented these changes as a safeguard against future lawsuits, since it recently had to dole out $20 million after it settled a suit about how it took user information for its “Sponsored Stories.” 


The boundaries of privacy in the digital age are ambiguous. But even the ones assumed evident, like the right to privacy during encrypted transactions, have been trampled by both public and private institutions. Facebook’s decision to steer users towards policies where consent is assumed is disturbing, and it reinforces the idea that individuals cannot participate online without ceding their ability to set privacy limits.

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