Share: Facebook Get’s Called Out Everywhere – Except Here …

June 29, 2010

German, British and Canadian Governments are monitoring Facebook’s assault of the general definition of privacy. Meanwhile the shameless free market fundamentalists who’ve wormed themselves into the American Government, in great numbers, are giving “favors” and trading players…

BERLIN, AP – Facebook still isn’t doing enough to protect users’ data, Germany’s consumer protection minister said Thursday, adding that she plans to give up her account.

The minister, Ilse Aigner, first raised concerns about Facebook two months ago, urging the network to upgrade its privacy settings.

Last week, in response to a backlash among users, Facebook announced that it was simplifying its privacy controls and applying them retroactively, so users can protect the status updates and photos they posted in the past.

Those changes were “a first step in the right direction, but I still have my doubts as to whether these improvements will really bring a true turning point,” Aigner said after meeting Richard Allan, Facebook’s director of European public policy.

Aigner said the meeting “unfortunately confirmed my skepticism.”

She said she plans to leave the network, but will remain in contact with Facebook managers and “will not rest until data protection is improved decisively.”

The changes so far aren’t enough “to protect the privacy of users and to comply with our German law, which has higher standards than elsewhere in the world and America,” Aigner added.

She complained that the network’s data protection system remains too complicated and geared toward opting out of sharing information rather than opting in.

Aigner has also harshly criticized Google Inc. for failing to respect German data protection regulations through its Street View mapping program.


Fedbook: Blatanly the Fed’s Book

June 24, 2010

CNET News
By: Caroline McCarthy

Facebook announced Thursday the hire of Marne Levine, as its first-ever Vice President of Global Public Policy. She’ll start at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech company next month but will remain based in Washington, D.C. Currently, she serves as chief of staff for the White House National Economic Counsel; previously, following a background in the online payments space, she worked in the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison, and was chief of staff to former Treasury head Larry Summers when he was president of Harvard University.

“I’m excited that Marne is joining my team as Vice President, Global Public Policy,” a statement from Facebook vice president of communications Elliot Schrage read. “With over 70 percent of our users living outside the United States, her unique mix of government and Internet industry experience will be invaluable to help Facebook address some of the most interesting questions at the intersection of technology and public policy.”

As Facebook draws ever closer to the half-billion-member milestone, the company increasingly finds itself dealing with international governments and legislative bodies both inside and outside of the U.S. Part of Levine’s job will be to help build public policy teams in Asia, Europe, and the Americas; Facebook’s existing D.C. branch head, Tim Sparapani, will continue to manage the company’s relationship with the U.S. government.

Part of Levine’s background–connections to Harvard University, the Treasury Department, and Larry Summers–sounds a whole lot like that of another Facebook executive, chief operating officer and former Google sales exec Sheryl Sandberg, who was Summers’ chief of staff when he was at the Treasury Department. Sandberg was one of Facebook’s first prominent employees to come from a government background rather than Silicon Valley.

Facebook’s existing D.C. connections also run deep thanks to Donald Graham, chairman of the Washington Post Company, who serves on Facebook’s board of directors. The Washington Post was also the outlet for an op-ed penned by CEO Mark Zuckerberg after the company’s most recent privacy controversy, indicating Facebook’s desire to further permeate the close-knit world of D.C. influence and dealmaking.