Facebook: Latest Policy Revisions Might Spark New Privacy Battle

Facebook has once again updated its data-use policy, allowing the routine use of users’ names and images for advertising without their consent.

The social network site said that the goal of the update was to make its practices clearer, but the changes, which entered into force today (5 September), have met with sharp criticism. In the US, privacy advocates are already taking action. On Wednesday (4 September), a coalition of six major consumer organisations sent a joint letter to US regulators and politicians, arguing that the changes violate the terms of a 2011 privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over user privacy.

The organisations also say that the impact of the policy changes on minors is particularly problematic, in that a new line in the policy states that users under the age of 18, in signing up to Facebook, effectively assert that one of their parents or guardians has agreed to allow the use of the child’s name, profile picture and other content for commercial purposes.