Facebook now allowing users to vote on privacy policy changes

Facebook allows vote on privacy policy

Thanks to pressure from privacy advocates, Facebook is once again allowing its nearly 1 billion users to vote on changes to its privacy policy, according to a company announcement released today. The last time Facebook agreed to hold such a vote was in 2009, when the social network claimed a userbase of just 200 million users.

Voting on the changes — which concern two different user documents, its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Use Policy — began today at 9am PT, and will close on June 8 at 9am PT.

The changes up for a vote are:

  • Updated language that clarifies that Facebook can use your data to serve you advertisements outside of Facebook’s Website.
  • The addition of a chart that shows users exactly how Facebook uses cookies
  • Updated language to better explain why Facebook retains user data

A full 30 percent of all active Facebook users — about 230 million people — must approve the changes for them to go into affect. If 30 percent of active users vote down the changes, Facebook will scrap them altogether. If at least 30 percent of users do not decisively vote one way or another, the Facebook will consider the changes “under advisory.”

To vote on the changes, click here.

The vote comes less than a month after Facebook proposed “improvements” to its privacy policy, including “enhancing transparency.” These changes were in response to an audit by Irish data-protection authorities last year. The audit was the result of a campaign, dubbed Europe v. Facebook, by 24-year-old Austrian law student Max Schrems, who last year filed dozens of complaints in Europe about Facebook’s privacy practices.

Also in response to Europe v. Facebook, the Palo Alto, California-based social network updated its “Download Your Information” feature to include a wider swath of data, including friend request history, IP addresses used to access Facebook, account status changes, and other information. Following this update, Schrems told The New York Times that he was still dissatisfied with Facebook’s privacy policies as it was “still not in line with the European Data Protection Law.”

For in depth explanations of the changes, click here (SRR), and here (Data Use Policy).

Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.