Facebook Mulling Privacy Changes Via Public Comments

Facebook is mulling changes to its privacy policy that appear to be small, but privacy advocates argue will make a big difference in the way the company collects information on Facebook and non-Facebook users.

"We plan to review and analyze your comments over the coming days and will keep you posted on next steps," the company said in a posting to its where it solicited public opinion.

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Among the changes being considered by Facebook to its "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" is the removal of all references to a "privacy policy" and replacing it with "data use policy."

That change, according to privacy expert Sarah Downey, an attorney with Abine, a Boston-based provider of online privacy services, makes Facebook's "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" more accurate. "This terminology change is more accurate because Facebook has always sought user data and you have very little privacy on the site," she stated.

Another change would expand Facebook's data collection tactics. For example, Downey maintained that third-party apps that your "friends" subscribe to can access your information, too. "If people do not explicitly give an app permission to access their information, it should not have access to their information," she said.