Six consumer watchdog groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission to block the Facebook privacy changes that they say would make it far easier for the company to use the names, images and personal information of its nearly 1.2 billion users — including teens — to endorse products in ads without their consent.
“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,” Facebook said in a statement emailed to the Los Angeles Times. The social networking website is vehement that it isn’t changing its policies but simply clarifying the language they’ve been written in to eliminate all possibility of confusion.
Facebook said it proposed new language in response to a $20-million settlement of a 2011 lawsuit that alleged the company used personal information for commercial purposes without consent or compensation.
The original proposal has drawn tens of thousands of comments from Facebook users, most of them opposed to the changes.