Starting Friday, Facebook users will have one week to vote on proposed privacy changes before they go into effect. The Facebook Site Governance Vote gives users the option to adopt changes to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy or vote against them.
The public vote comes shortly after public stock for the company was made public. A European protest group fought against the company’s lackluster privacy settings that are steadily removing privacy and allowing for increased data mining. The protest group believes that the users should have an active role in how their data is used and secured.
Unfortunately, voting is not an easy process. Users will have to sift through the lengthy policy texts and hope to understand what is being presented to them. The substantial reads are akin to End User and Terms of Service Agreements that many consumers scroll through and accept without reading. It’s very likely that these circumstances will hinder substantial votes from being made, once again giving Facebook the freedom to tweak its policy.
The results of the vote will determine what changes come into effect or not. Policies which fail to receive a majority of support will go under advisory and be rewritten.
Max Schrems, head of the protest group, said, “If the new policy does not go through, Facebook would have to rewrite the policy and might improve something. In addition, the new policy grants Facebook even more rights to exploit our data and limit our privacy, which we cannot support.”
This is the second time Facebook has allowed its users to directly interact with site changes. It is uncertain whether or not they will continue this trend, but they recently stated that they are currently reviewing the best possible ways to incorporate their users into their decision-making process.