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Facebook users upset over new policy

Associated Press / February 18, 2009
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NEW YORK - Tens of thousands of Facebook users are protesting new policies that they say grant the social-networking site the ability to control their information forever, even after they cancel their accounts.

Facebook's new terms of use, updated Feb. 4, largely went unnoticed until the popular consumer rights advocacy blog Consumerist.com pointed out the changes Sunday.

That prompted a clarification from Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, although the new terms remain in force. Zuckerberg told users Monday that "on Facebook, people own their information and control who they share it with."

When someone shares a photo, a message, or a status update telling friends what they are up to, they first need to grant Facebook a license so the site can pass that information to authorized friends. Without the license, he said, Facebook wouldn't be able to help people share information.

Zuckerberg said the new terms are necessary to reflect the fact that friends may retain a copy of that message or other information. He did acknowledge that Facebook still has "work to do to communicate more clearly" about how information is shared on the site.

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