Updated 04/26/2010 06:15 PM
Schumer calls for privacy guidelines for social networking sites
Senator Chuck Schumer is slamming the popular social networking site Facebook and wants to crack down on similar sites that release personal information. Our Erin Connolly has more on how your information is being shared and what Schumer wants to do about it.
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COLONIE, N.Y. -- Facebook started small, and now it seems nearly everyone has a page. Most of us are careful about protecting our privacy, and that's why Senator Chuck Schumer is taking a stand to make sure our personal information stays personal.
Facebook is a world of poking, tagging, and liking. But now what you click, can be shared with other sites like Pandora, all thanks to new privacy policies on Facebook.
Senator Schumer said, ''To now pull the rug out from under Facebook users and say we're sending this information to all third parties is unfair, wrong and against the tenet of Facebook."
New York's senior senator is urging the Federal Trade Commission to set up guidelines for stricter privacy standards. Many feel they should be able to control their private information and know how it's being used. Others say the sharing is no big deal.
Siena College Professor Dow Smith said, ''I think people who are on Facebook, it's a personal situation, it's a social situation. It is not a commercial situation.''
James Akey of Loudonville said, ''I don't really see it getting put to so much bad use.''
As it stands now, Facebook users are automatically placed in the information sharing network without being asked if they want in at all.
Alex Mazza of Loudonville said, ''They definitely tricked a lot of people with it, and I don't think I should have to navigate through the inner workings of Facebook to shut it off.''
So if you want to opt out of sharing your information, here's what you need to do. First, go to Account and click on Privacy Settings. Then head to Applications and Website. And finally, head to Instant Personalization and uncheck Allow, and you're good to go.
In a statement to YNN, Facebook's spokesman Andrew Noyes said they're surprised by Senator Schumer's comments saying, "We think these programs will make surfing the web a smoother and more engaging experience for people who use Facebook while honoring the trust we've been given.''
''When you have the web, which is an amazing institution for people to share things, you need certain limitations to protect people's privacy," Schumer said. "Facebook was founded on that and shouldn't change.''
And Senator Schumer says if the FTC doesn't have the power to make the necessary changes, he'll look at introducing stronger legislation.