10) No Privacy “Bait And Switch” Facebook said for years that all information that users made private would always be private. Then it made names, photos, friend lists and other information unavoidably public. So “No bait and switch” is essentially “Don’t change privacy settings to be more open without prior user consent.”
9) Opt In, Not Opt Out “Opt In” needs to be the default for everything privacy related. Any Facebook default should never move users toward less privacy. The ‘wizard’ Facebook walked FB users through in December, where the default got swapped to ‘everyone’ is perhaps the most egregious example of lack of transparency. From now on no more December 2009, i.e. all moves that force data sharing need to reveal exactly what the company intends to do with that data and the default answer better be “not very much.”
8.) Freedom Of Data Export Users should have the freedom to share their data with anyone they want and take it with them anywhere they want, including removing it from the Facebook Service. While Facebook has alluded to eventually enabling this functionality in the past, there is currently no way to export Facebook data, which means whatever happens on Facebook stays on Facebook to the ultimate detriment of users.
7) The Right To Permanently Delete Accounts At the moment the actualities of being able to do this are lost in the vagaries of activating and/or deactivating your account, which still gives Facebook the rights to your personal data and license to your IP. Facebook needs to provide a direct link to this and then make sure that when your profile is gone it’s actually gone, and not stuck in server limbo somewhere.
6) The Right To Data Security Facebook needs more transparency regarding how code is deployed, and needs to make the process more secure. We get the occasional emails about how Facebook has sent messages to the wrong people, exposing user email addresses and various sundry data holes. While all code has its flaws, Facebook needs to keep in good faith that its first priority is protecting user data from malware such as phishing schemes, for example.
5) The Right To Redress Regarding Suspending Accounts We also receive many tips from people who have had their accounts suspended and have no way to reach an actual person vs. an autoreply at Facebook. Seeing as though your Facebook account is now your online calling card, there needs to be a way to argue your case to an actual human being.
3) The Right To Information On Third Party Sharing Facebook needs to explicitly lay out what it does with your user data and how it target ads exactly. The importance of this has increased in the wake of Place’s introduction, especially since the proposed business plan for many of the geolocational platforms including Facebook is selling user checkin data.
2) The Right To Opt Out Of Facebook Marketing This could be achieved with premium accounts, as Pandora does now, giving people a clear way to opt out of any kind of ad targeting or marketing. The ads would still be there, but they wouldn’t directly pull from your likes, giving you a greater sense of “privacy.”
1) The Right To Protections From Snooping Facebook Employees A guarantee of security around who has access to user data and how often it has been abused. While “scary” media reports that Facebook has a “master password” abound and pranks like “Fax this photo” are cute, they lead us to believe that Facebook employees do not quite yet grasp the fact that with great power comes great responsibility.
I would also add another right to the list:
Of course, all of these “rights” are part of a trade-off. We get Facebook for free because it uses our information to sell ads. With less access to our info, there’s less revenue to be made–at least in theory. But there are other ways of making it work. People will pay for privacy if it’s important enough to them, they just need the opportunities to do so. The same goes for other demands, although it would be important to keep the list short enough that it doesn’t turn into a mess that gets bogged down and never reaches that critical mass. Alexia’s 10 rights article already has over 1,000 mentions on Twitter, Facebook, Buzz, etc., not to mention this post, so it’s clearly gaining traction. Here’s hoping we see some progress.