Facebook reviewing feedback before updating controversial privacy policy

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Watchdog groups do not like Facebook's new policy

Facebook announced nearly a week ago that some sizeable shifts are coming to its privacy policy, but now the social network has been forced to delay those changes.

The proposed policy changes were precipitated by a recent $20 million (about £12.9m, AU$22m) settlement over complaints that Facebook users' names, photos and personal info were used in ads without their permission.

Consumer watchdog groups say the proposed updates would make it easier for Facebook to do so in the future, and they've petitioned the FTC to block the social network's plans.

The FTC has been silent so far, but Facebook says the updates change nothing and simply clarify the policy that's been in place all along.

Take your time

Facebook's new privacy policy language makes it clear that users "give [Facebook] permission to use your name, profile picture, content and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us."

It appears that the new policy makes it more difficult than ever for users to opt out as well, and states that parents and guardians of users under 18 consent by default.

Facebook says that's what the policy's always been, and it's just the language that's changing now. Nevertheless, it delayed the adoption of the new policy so that it can take users' feedback into account.

Facebook's take

"We are taking the time to ensure that user comments are reviewed and taken into consideration to determine whether further updates are necessary and we expect to finalize the process in the coming week," the social network said in a statement.

We contacted Facebook to get their full take on the situation, and a spokesperson said that this isn't technically a delay.

The Facebook rep said that users had until Sept. 5 to submit feedback, and that Facebook is now reviewing that feedback as planned.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for Playboy.com, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.