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135,000 people ask Facebook to respect their privacy

Social network has 829 million daily active users
Mon Aug 18 2014, 12:58
A Facebook logo

ACTIVIST GROUP Fight for the Future has hand-delivered a petition to Facebook that asks it change its privacy practices for the better.

The petition carries some 135,000 signatures, according to a statement from the group, and all of them request the right to opt out of privacy changes at the user data warehousing outfit.

The number seems small when compared against the Facebook user base, and even the signed up and rather disgruntled petition signers seem to want to stay on the social network. We won't comment on the wisdom of that, but we could mention any one of many privacy probes on Facebook.

The petition was launched in June and the response was good, according to Fight for the Future, because it is another indication of privacy awareness among users. It comes on the heels of revelations about Facebook running a secret psychological experiment and its use of an "intrusive tracking system".

"With everything we've learned in the past year about the ways those in power have been abusing the internet to invade our privacy, it's no wonder that Facebook users are speaking out in droves demanding more transparency and accountability from a company that holds such a massive amount of personal information," said Evan Greer, a spokesperson for Fight for the Future.

"The public has spoken, companies that ignore the growing cry for privacy should only expect user protests to intensify... the signatures that we are delivering today should be seen as further evidence of this company's lack of concern for its users basic rights."

We have asked Facebook to comment, so far it has not responded, though it has in the past admitted making mistakes with regard to user privacy.

Fight for the Future said that now is the time for the firm to start listening to users and stop undermining them.

"Overly invasive corporate practices like Facebook's tracking system undermine the privacy of the web, and have a chilling effect on free speech," added Greer.

"Facebook needs to do the right thing and start listening to their users - and in the meantime anyone concerned with privacy should move away from centralised services and toward services that are built to respect users' human rights." µ


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