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Facebook Challenged By Privacy Group

September 27, 2011 by  

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 27 (UPI) — A privacy watchdog group said it was warning the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that changes on Facebook had a flaw of not giving consumers any choice.

“It’s getting really difficult to evaluate the changes that Facebook makes, and I say that as a privacy professional,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

“Users might opt in to what Facebook is planning to do, but Facebook never gives users that option. It just marches forward and users have to go along,” the Los Angeles Times quoted Rotenberg as saying Tuesday.

Rotenberg said it would sent a letter to the FTC outlining its concerns with Facebook, which announced it would change the profile page by adding a timeline that tracks content users have shared with others.

The changes also allow a third party to share real-time actions with another user, a feature intended to allow two parties to listen to the same song or watch a video clip at the same time.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on the group’s concern, the Times said.

Technology writer Ben Barr said, “We’re at the point of no return.”

“Facebook’s passive sharing will change how we live our lives. More and more things we do in real life will end up on Facebook posts,” he wrote.

“And while we may be consoled by the fact that most of this stuff is being posted just to our friends, it only takes one friend to share that information with his or her friends to start a viral chain.”

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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