Facebook fuels hype over location features

Ronny Kerr · March 26, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/ea7

Along with location, new privacy policy changes will affect contact syncing, personal data sharing

Facebook Privacy PolicyFacebook on Friday announced a set of changes to its privacy policy suggesting new location features, new ways of controlling data sharing with applications, and the possibility of certain Web services automatically signing in users with Facebook Connect.

"We're proposing another set of revisions to our Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to make way for some exciting new products we're contemplating," writes Michael Richter, deputy general counsel for Facebook. "Not all of these products have been finalized and many aren't yet built at all. However, we've definitely identified some interesting opportunities to improve the way you share and connect with the people and things in your life."

While some have already discussed the possibility of location-based features launching on Facebook very soon, Richter says that the company has something even "more exciting" planned than merely appending a location to posts. The new language refers to an idea of "place" that may perhaps be more fluid, as it is meant to be a way of interacting with Facebook Pages for restaurants and the like.

A change sure to be welcomed by privacy advocates is an update that will improve the ways in which users can control which data they share with applications. At the same time, privacy advocates may not so wholeheartedly welcome changes that would have Facebook "pre-approving" certain third-party sites to automatically sign in users via Facebook Connect.

The other changes mostly involve language changes to better match how today's Facebook actually functions.

Each of today's proposed updates likely foreshadow announcements to be made at Facebook's f8 developer conference taking place on April 21.

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