U.S. senators raise Facebook privacy concerns

Four Democratic senators have raised concerns over Facebook's privacy controls in a letter due to be sent to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The Associated Press received a draft of the letter due to be sent out which was signed by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). 

Facebook's announcement offering a like button and its other projects to expand over the internet raise "new concerns for users who want to maintain control over their information," the draft letter read. 

Schumer himself has also recently sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission telling the regulators to create clear privacy guidelines for Facebook and other social networking sites to abide by. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes responded saying the company hoped to meet with Schumer to explain its privacy policies. 

Some of the senators' privacy concerns are:

  • Other businesses can store users' data for over 24hrs.
  • Users' accounts can have their information published on outside websites without the user "opting in".

The current system requires Facebook users to opt-out of allowing Facebook to share their data with other websites. Facebook has continuously had issues regarding its privacy policies in the past and in some cases has consulted with its users directly to try resolve them.

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