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Facebook To Digest Feedback Over Controversial Privacy Policy Update

On Thursday, the social network posted a draft of its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) with some tweaks made. These changes to the privacy policy have already been implemented in the company's privacy guidelines quite some time ago, but the SRR was being updated to clarify them, and make the document consistent, CNET reports.

Facebook said it wanted to "make our practices and policies more clear", and give users a chance to review the document and post feedback on what they made of it. Many Facebookers weren't happy, and for a number of reasons.

The tweaks include rebranding the "privacy policy" as a "data use policy", and many aren't keen on the ominous change of wording there.

Arguably, there is a certain amount of honesty in the name switch. Since when has Facebook ever really been about protecting your privacy, as opposed to pushing the boundaries on what it can do with your data as far as possible? However, the switch has a foreboding tone for the future, and is perhaps not the message Facebook wants to be sending its user base.

Further points of contention include the change to give apps your friend has downloaded permission to see your data (as opposed to just the apps you've downloaded and given permission). Again, this has been the case for a long time now on the social network, but having it highlighted has inflamed many users.

Folks aren't happy about the way these tweaks were made clear, either. You wouldn't have been made aware of them unless you were a fan of the Facebook governance page the revised SSR was posted on.

Yesterday, Facebook posted on the governance page: "The comment period for our proposed new Statement of Rights and Responsibilities is now complete. Thank you for your participation. We plan to review and analyze your comments over the coming days and will keep you posted on next steps."

How they handle this one should be very interesting. The Inquirer notes that the social network is defending the changes, and said in a statement: "We proposed some mostly administrative and clarifying changes (e.g. "no hateful" to "no hate speech") to this document."

"The proposed changes have been up for a week. As you know, unlike other Internet companies, we propose updates and give people an opportunity to comment before they go into effect. Now that the comment period has ended, we'll go through them and decide if we need to make any changes or answer any questions before the document is official. We'll keep you posted on next steps."