Facebook responds to privacy controversy

Data changes withdrawn temporarily from social-networking site

Facebook backs down over privacy row

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has announced in a blog post that Facebook is to revert to its original terms and conditions, albeit for a temporary basis.

The social-networking site had taken the decision to change its terms of service so that any personal information you posted on your page would be retained regardless of whether your account was deleted or not.

When the new T&Cs were revealed an ugly privacy row erupted, with users worried that they had lost the right to pictures and video posted on the site, and other sensitive information.

Article continues below

Overly formal

Zuckerberg's blog states: "Going forward, we've decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now.

"As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don't plan to leave it there for long."

Facebook's reasoning for changing its small-print is an apparent innocent one. If, say, you deleted your account, the new conditions would mean anything you posted on other people's walls and so on would remain.

There has been criticism across the board about this, with Consumerist.com, a consumer rights blog, being the first to point out problems with the new agreement: "Want to close your account? Good for you, but Facebook still has the right to do whatever it wants with your old content. They can even sub-license it if they want."

There's no news as of yet when the new-and-improved Facebook Bill of Rights (its words) will be released.