Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chuckie Schumer Now Whining About Facebook

Every Sunday it's something with this guy. His most recent crusade was the national threat of carry-on baggage fees and he milked that one for a couple of weeks. Today he's moaning about Facebook selling user information to advertisers.
Sen. Charles Schumer slammed Facebook and other social networking sites Sunday for making money by selling users' private information to marketing companies.

Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging the agency to set up guidelines restricting what data sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace can provide advertisers and entertainment companies.

Last week, Facebook announced that the personal information, from hobbies to favorite foods, tied to their millions of members is now available to businesses looking for a target audience.

While users can "opt out" of Facebook's decisions by changing the security options on their profile, Schumer said the federal government has to establish new Internet rules.
So people are too stupid to opt out so we need some federal legislation.


If this media hog wanted to set an example he'd walk the walk and close down his own Facebook page, where I notice he uses a photo of himself that must be at least 15 years old. Guess he's trying to look hip and youthful.

Facebook responded.
"We were surprised by Senator Schumer's comments and look forward to sitting down with him and his staff to clarify. Facebook's highest priority is to keep and build the trust of the more than 400 million people who visit our service every month. To do so, we've developed the most powerful tools of any major Internet company to give people control over what information they want to share, when they want to share it and with whom. Last week, we announced several new products and features designed to enhance personalization and promote social activity across the Web. None of these changes removed or reduced people's control over their information and several offered even greater controls. For example, we announced a new tool to give users much greater ability to restrict the information they share with applications and third party websites. We introduced new ways for websites to let Facebook offer personalization without the need for any user information to be shared with the site itself. We also announced a small pilot program with three well-known and respected partners - Microsoft, Pandora and Yelp - to provide additional personalization on their sites, based on information that is already publicly available. These partners were carefully chosen, reviewed, and are contractually required to respect users' privacy preferences. Additionally, they are required to provide an easy and prominent method for users to opt out directly from their website and delete user data if users choose do opt out. Facebook and its partner sites have also added new and easy controls to help users manage their experiences when they visit these sites. We think these programs will make surfing the web a smoother and more engaging experience for people who use Facebook while honoring the trust we've been given."

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