Facebook in the Time of Cholera (Revisited) Facebook Succumbs to demands for user privacy

Last week Aaron blogged about how a movie ticket purcahse landed on his Facebook MiniFeed.
(Aaron commented on that post with an update, but I thought it warranted a bit more attention).

I replied that MoveOn had started a petition to get Facebook to change its privacy policy around offsite or third party transactions. Well in a very short amount of time, tens of thousands of Facebook users signed the petition and today i got this email from MoveOn:

Big news! Last night, Facebook changed their policy and announced that no private purchases made on other websites would be displayed publicly on Facebook “without users proactively consenting.”1

This is a huge victory for online privacy—and shows how regular people can band together to make a difference as the rules of the Internet get written.

Facebook deserves credit for taking a huge step in the right direction. Their decision will hopefully set a precedent for all websites—that the wish lists of corporate advertisers must not be put before the basic rights of Internet users.

When sites like Facebook listen to Internet users and take big steps in the right direction, a little positive feedback goes a long way in encouraging them to keep it up. Can you send an email thanking Facebook today?

This is really important. What if Facebook users signed a petition to open Facebook up like OpenSocial? or to change the Facebook applications licensing agreements?

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