Schumer wants info sharing guidelines for social networking sites

Jordan Fabian
The Hill
4/25/2010

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Sunday asking the agency to provide guidelines to social networking sites on user’s private information.

As the Associated Press reported, the New York senator wants to ensure that private information submitted to the websites is not given away improperly to third parties.

The letter comes amid reports that Facebook has begun to provide user’s information to third-party sites that users used to be able to prevent from being shared.

“Hundreds of millions of people use social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter every day,” Schumer said. “These sites have helped reconnect old friends, allow families from far away to stay in touch, and created new friendships; overall they provide a great new way to communicate. As these sites become more and more popular, however, it’s vitally important that safeguards are in place that provide users with control over their personal information to ensure they don’t receive unwanted solicitations.”

Facebook has over 400 million users and many lawmakers, campaigns and congressional committees use the site to share with users stances on legislation, information about district events and news articles they find interesting.

Many congressional offices have official Facebook sites that are linked from their websites. For example, here is the official page of Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.)

UPDATED 2:56 p.m.

Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Facebook responded:

We were surprised by Senator Schumer’s comments and look forward to sitting down with him and his staff to clarify.

This article continues at The Hill

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