Facebook puts privacy changes up for member vote

Above: Facebook like icon carved out of ice.

Facebook’s newest proposed governing documents — its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy — are now in the hands in of the nearly one-billion-member Facebook public who use the social network.

Today, the company announced that its members can take part in the second-ever global site governance vote to decide whether the latest revisions to the social network’s polices will be enacted.

Members have until June 8, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time to cast their votes, and if more than 30 percent of all active registered users vote (roughly 270 million members), the results will be binding, otherwise the results are non-binding.

Facebook started the amendment process back in March when it posted proposed changes and opened the floor for discussion from members. The changes are relatively minor in scope, save a few conditions such as the right to keep user data longer than 180 days and the ability to use that data to serve ads on third-party websites. There’s also more detailed information on how Facebook uses cookies.

The vote falls in line with Facebook’s site governance process, which dates back to 2009 when the social network held its first global vote. The process, which includes notice of changes, a comment period, and a possible vote, is under review, meaning this could be the last time members have the chance to determine the ultimate outcome of changes made to Facebook’s policies.

As of this posting, Facebook’s proposed governing documents are losing out to its existing documents — but it’s of little consequence. Less than 3,000 people appear to have casted votes thus far.

Photo credit: Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook


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