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Facebook leading the web 2.0 revolution

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook
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Facebook has responded to criticism over the way it handles user data by handing over control to its users.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg said the aim was to “open up Facebook so that users can participate meaningfully in our policies and our future”.

This move was declared “unprecedented”.No other company has made such a bold move towards transparency and democratisation

Mr Zuckerberg admitted that the recent changes to the website’s terms and conditions had sparked a “firestorm”.

Users had complained that it appeared Facebook was claiming ownership of their data – even if they delete their accounts.

The founder said: “We do not own user data, they [users] own it. We never intended to give that impression and feel really bad that we did.”

The Facebook charter states: Users own their data and can remove it when they want Facebook should publicly make available information about its purpose, plans, policies, and operations Facebook should have a town hall process of notice and comment and a system of voting to encourage input and discourse on amendments to these Principles or to the Rights and Responsibilities

Facebook will enact a vote on changes to its governance when more than 7,000 comments have been made by users on a topic.

Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with more than 175 million users. The controversy over Facebook’s use of personal data is not the first time it has had a run in with users.

It angered some members in the past when it introduced a new advertising system, called Beacon, which delivered adverts to users on external websites based on their Facebook profile and habits. Beacon was quickly changed in order to give users an opt-in or opt-out button from the service.

The new Facebook principles are specific details regarding the ownership of data states: “People should own their information. They should have the freedom to share it with anyone they want and take it with them anywhere they want, including removing it from the Facebook Service.”

Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook had undertaken to carry out all of its business within the framework of the new governance documents.

“We trust our users. We are making this so that we can’t put in place a new terms of service without users’ permission.”

He told BBC News that he believed that opening up decisions about the future policies of the social network was not incompatible with doing business.

“We believe that good dialogue we will get us to the right place… where everyone is more involved and happy.”

Based on an article in BBC News website

Recommended reading : Permission Marketing – Seth Godin

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