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privacy rights blog

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Mark Z Congressional Testimony - Users Privacy Protection

Several topics were covered during Mark Zuckerberg's testimony at US Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.  One questioning session about users consent and rights stood out.  Basically, Facebook was being asked to better protect its users by expanding their efforts.  It was brought into question whether Facebook is currently adequately self-regulating the protections of its users through its user agreement and internal processes. For example, MZ was asked hypothetically whether they have the ability to provide a 3rd party a user's data if they wanted to.  MZ basically said that they would not do that, but yes, they do have the ability to.  So the concern is how are user's assured that Facebook is not or will not disclose their data to someone?   

As a result, bills will be introduced to regulate Facebook and it will be up to Facebook to keep them from passing by fixing the privacy problem.  For example, one senator John Kennedy, said that the current Facebook user agreement "sucks" because the obvious purpose of it is to cover Facebook.  It is difficult to read, complicated thus does not adequately inform users about their rights.  The average American should be able to understand it.  Facebook was specifically asked to expand users' rights regarding the following:

  • The right to delete its data completely
  • The right to clearly know who Facebook shares their data with
  • The right to specifically prohibit Facebook from sharing a users data
  • A  redrafted, clear and "understandable to the average person" user agreement