April 29th, 2010
12:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Facebook execs meet senator's aides

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/29/art.zuckerberg.schumer.2shot.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to change the social networking website’s privacy settings."]Washington (CNN) – Senate Judiciary Committee staffers met Wednesday with two Facebook executives to discuss the social networking site's controversial decision to allow third-party sharing of users' information.

Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Mark Begich of Alaska and Al Franken of Minnesota, urged Facebook earlier this week to change its privacy policy.

"While he appreciates the tremendous value Facebook and other social networking sites provide to their users, the senator feels strongly that these sites should establish an opt-in policy for sharing users private data with third party companies and the default setting should always be more restrictive, not less," Brian Fallon, a Schumer spokesman, said in a statement to CNN. The Judiciary staffers work for Schumer, a member of the committee.

Andrew Noyes, a Facebook spokesperson who participated in the meeting via telephone, sought to emphasize the common ground between the senators and Facebook.

"We share the goal of user trust, the importance of innovation on the Internet, and how innovation can create better experiences for users," he said. "We talked about the success of the personalization announcements we made last week and the measurable benefits users and our Web partners have experienced. At the same time, we recognize that some users have concerns and we discussed ways to address them."

The senators wrote to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg Tuesday expressing concern over the company's decision to require users to "opt out" if they did not want to share their information.

"The way to go is opt-in," Schumer said during a press conference on Capital Hill while addressing the issue on Tuesday. "The default position should be that the information is not shared, not that the information is shared."

Facebook says it is easy to opt-out by simply clicking an "x" button when a bar appears on a website that will use personalized information.

Filed under: Al Franken • Charles Schumer • Mark Begich • Michael Bennet
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Stuart

    I have to agree with the Senators. Before we even knew about their changes and had a choice to opt-out, Facebook had already spread our private information all over the place without our permission.

    I fully expect at least one lawsuit to be filed over their decision. There is already talk of a class action lawsuit.

    April 29, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Mary

    I was angry when I found this had me linked up to a web site I had forgotten to log out of.
    I have decided to close my facebook account..In fear of what could happen next.

    April 29, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Hows that oil slick coming along drillers?

    Dont be fooled,the days of privacy are long over.You are now monitored every step of the way.

    April 29, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Facebook clearly states at enrollment that you information is secure- I know -I signed up Tuesday for business reasons after being forced into it.
    Since they state it in the agreement we must click, they should be bound by law to continue the policy usnless they give the subscriber an opt out option.

    April 29, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |