Facebook execs meet Schumer staff today
Senator's criticism of Facebook privacy rules prompts face-to-face meeting
Computerworld - Facebook officials today met with the staff of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, who has publicly called on the social networking site to tighten its privacy policies.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes confirmed today's meeting and called it "a productive conversation."
Yesterday, Schumer and fellow Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), called on Facebook to implement privacy policies that better safeguard the personal information of its users.
Neither Schumer nor his colleagues at yesterday's press conference attended today's meeting with Facebook, a source close to the situation told Computerworld this afternoon.
Schumer called yesterday's press conference a day after releasing an open letter urging the Federal Trade Commission to set up privacy guidelines for all social networking sites, including Facebook and rivals Twitter and MySpace.
The criticism of of social networks comes shortly after Facebook unveiled a bevy of tools aimed at extending the social networking leader's reach across a greater expanse of the Web.
Facebook said the new tools will enable its users' information to be shared with other Web sites.
"We share the goal of user trust, the importance of innovation on the Internet, and how innovation can create better experiences for users," Noyes said after today's meeting. "As an example, we talked about the success of the personalization announcements we made last week and the measurable benefits users and our Web partners have experienced. At the same time, we recognize that some users have concerns and we discussed ways to address them."
Noyes also noted that Schumer's staff raised "a number of questions" about privacy guidelines that Facebook officials promised to explore and respond to.
"We appreciate their thoughts and look forward to their assistance in helping make sure users understand the controls they have over their information and what happens with information they share," he added. "More generally, we talked about responsible business practices for services that promote the sharing of personal information and communications across the Internet."
Schumer's office could not be reached for comment.
However, all four senators involved in Tuesday's press conference did pen a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, which he received yesterday.
"While Facebook provides a valuable service to users by keeping them connected with friends and family and reconnecting them with long-lost friends and colleagues, the expansion of Facebook - both in the number of users and applications - raises new concerns for users who want to maintain control over their information," the senators wrote. "We look forward to the FTC examining this issue, but in the meantime we believe Facebook can take swift and productive steps to alleviate the concerns of its users."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What to expect in Facebook's earnings call today
- Could you quit Facebook for 99 days?
- Facebook is a school yard bully that's going down
- EPIC says Facebook 'messed with people's minds,' seeks FTC sanctions
- 7 things you need to know about Facebook's mood experiment
- Facebook emotional manipulation test turns users into 'lab rats'
- Facebook tries to stop Snapchat drain with Slingshot
- TMI! Facebook moves to stop over-sharing
- Inside Facebook's brilliant plan to hog your data
- Facebook shows mobile app developers the money with new ad network
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- How Network Connections Drive Web Application Performance Users around the globe, on all sorts of devices, expect Web applications to function as seamlessly as desktop applications. This paper discusses the...
- The Truth About Virtual Computing for CAD If you're a user of graphics-intensive software such as 3D modeling, simulation and analysis, and visualization, you might be skeptical about moving to...
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- ESG Lab Report: Virident FlashMAX Connect Performance Advantage with vCache on a single Oracle instance View Now>>
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts