Facebook’s Proposed Revisions To Statement Of Rights And Responsibilities, Data Use Policy Up For Vote Through June 8

Facebook users have until Friday, June 8, at 9 a.m. PT, to vote on the social network’s proposed (and extensive) revisions to its statement of rights and responsibilities and data use policy, as announced on the Facebook Site Governance page.

Facebook users have until Friday, June 8, at 9 a.m. PT, to vote on the social network’s proposed (and extensive) revisions to its statement of rights and responsibilities and data use policy, as announced on the Facebook Site Governance page.

Users who click on the Site Governance Vote tab on the Facebook Site Governance page are greeted by a brief introductory message (which is about the only brief message they will see throughout this process), and then, after clicking enter voting, they can access the following links:

Once users are done perusing those documents (likely in a few hours), clicking continue takes them to the voting page, where they can choose between the proposed documents and the existing documents, and, in true Facebook tradition, their votes can be shared with their friends.

As we may have mentioned a few times, the documents are quite lengthy, so we will try to provide some highlights of the changes.

From the explanation of changes to the SRR:

To clarify the sharing of information about users’ friends by applications: If you, your friends, or members of your network use any third-party applications developed using the Facebook Platform (“platform applications”), those platform applications may access and share certain information about you with others in accordance with your privacy settings.

On changing its terminology from “hateful content” to “hate speech”: We think the term “hate speech” better captures our policy on prohibited content, which hasn’t changed. Sometimes discussions on Facebook include controversial content — even content that someone may view as “hateful.” While we allow discussion of controversial ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not tolerate hate speech. It is a violation of our terms to disparage an individual or group on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition. We are focused on fostering an environment where users can openly discuss issues while respecting the rights of others, and we believe this change to our guidelines reflects that principle. This is also consistent with our community standards.

From the explanation of changes to the data use policy:

On terminology changes due to the introduction of timeline: Since the last revision to our data use policy, we launched Facebook timeline. Therefore, we’re changing “profile” to “timeline” and “post” to “story” throughout the data use policy and including references to features, like cover photos, that work with timeline.

Users’ genders and cover photos being publicly available: In these sections, we’ve stated the kinds of information about you that are always public. For instance, your gender is public information, and we use your gender throughout the site to refer to you properly. And, as we’ve explained throughout the data use policy, your gender is shared with apps so that they can refer to you properly, as well. You will still be able to hide your gender on your timeline. In addition, cover photos are a new part of the Facebook experience, and we’re updating the data use policy to let you know that, just like your profile pictures, your cover photos are public. If you’re uncomfortable with making your profile pictures or cover photos public, you can always delete them.

Data retention: In addition, we’ve added new language that explains our overall commitment around data retention: We will retain data for as long as necessary to provide services to users and others. This broader commitment applies to all data we collect and receive about you, including information from advertisers. With respect to advertisers, those relationships are evolving because of the different services we provide. We will continue to retain data received from advertisers for 180 days where that length of time is necessary to provide services. But there may be some times when we will need to keep information that we get from an advertiser for longer than 180 days. For example, if an advertiser creates a Facebook page, we wouldn’t delete information the advertiser puts on its page simply because 180 days had passed. Instead, we would delete it when it was no longer needed — when the page owner deleted it or closed its account. The revisions in this section do not change our commitment that we won’t share information that personally identifies you with advertisers without your permission.