Making Social Networks Unsociable

Proposed California legislation would upend social networking sites’ privacy policies by imposing restrictions on what user information can be shared and requiring sites to establish more stringent privacy settings.  Internet companies and trade associations oppose the bill proposed by Senator Ellen Corbett on the grounds it could undermine their business and have unintended consequences. The bill, which would only apply to users in California, would prohibit sites from displaying users’ home addresses or telephone numbers without their consent and would mandate services remove any information about a user within 48 hours of a request to do so or face a $10,000 fine. Social networking sites would be required to have all users choose privacy settings, which would be explained in plain language as part of the registration process. “You shouldn’t have to sign in and give up your personal information before you get to the part where you say, ‘Please don’t share my personal information,’” Corbett told the San Francisco Chronicle. Read about Facebook’s opposition to the bill here:

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