Facebook backs off changes to terms of service
The founder of Facebook says the social networking website will return to its previous terms of service regarding user data, after critics complained recent changes had eroded user privacy.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder and CEO, wrote early Wednesday morning that move back to the previous terms is temporary, and comes in response to questions and comments the website has received about changes made two weeks ago.
Facebook had changed its terms of service on Feb. 4, deleting a paragraph that allowed its 175 million users to remove content from the site at any time.
Zuckerberg said in a Monday blog post the changes were made to reflect how account holders use the site.
When a user shares a message on Facebook with a friend, a copy of the content remains in the friend's inbox, he said. This content remains, regardless of whether the sender has deactivated his or her account or not.
The change touched off a storm of criticism from blogs, users and consumer advocates accusing Facebook of undermining user privacy. Facebook users have also created groups voicing opposition to the changes.
"Make sure you never upload anything you don't feel comfortable giving away forever, because it's Facebook's now," consumer advocacy website the Consumerist said in a post on Sunday.
Zuckerberg said in his Wednesday blog post the website is committed to making changes to the terms of service to reflect how people share and control their information, and said "it will be written in a language everyone can understand."
Zuckerberg said users will have input into how these changes take shape, and said users can post comments and questions on a group created within the website called Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.