Senators see privacy problem in Facebook expansion

Four U.S. senators want Facebook to make it easier for its more than 400 million users to protect their privacy as the web site develops new outlets to share personal information, reports the Associated Press. The call for simpler privacy controls came in a letter that the senators plan to send April 27 to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The AP obtained a draft of the letter signed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo; Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska; and Sen. Al Franken, D.-Minn. Facebook’s expansion “raises new concerns for users who want to maintain control over their information,” the senators wrote in their draft of the letter. Among other things, Facebook is plugging into other web sites so people can communicate their interests with their online entourages. Facebook also tweaked its own web site recently to create more pages where people’s biographical information could be exposed to a wider audience. Before personal information can be shared with other web sites, the senators want Facebook to seek users’ explicit consent, a process known as “opting in.” The senators also object to Facebook’s decision to allow other businesses store users’ data for more than 24 hours. In a statement on April 26, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said the company wants to meet with Schumer to explain its commitment to privacy…

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