Facebook Puts Data Use Policy to a Vote, but Will It Matter?

In May, Facebook proposed changes to its Data Use Policy. There is a clause buried therein which states:

Opportunity to comment and vote Unless we make a change for legal or administrative reasons, or to correct an inaccurate statement, we will give you seven (7) days to provide us with comments on the change. If we receive more than 7000 comments concerning a particular change, we will put the change up for a vote. The vote will be binding on us if more than 30% of all active registered users as of the date of the notice vote.”

Privacy activist Max Schrems and his organization Europe v. Facebook led a successful campaign that resulted in almost 50,000 comments opposing the proposed changes. This event triggered a vote, but will it even matter?

Schrems and company listed a whole slew of demands they want Facebook to implement – all great ideas, but not very likely to become a reality. The voting options are slim:  Choice A is to accept the proposed changes as is, or Choice B is to keep the current policy in place. There is no provision or inclination for Facebook to drastically change course and implement any major changes to improve privacy on its platform. The demands of Europe v Facebook and their army of activists have been totally ignored.

Our friends at Abine issued a blog post today advising users to vote on keeping the current policy in place and not voting to accept the proposed changes. Shrems also recommends voting in favor of the existing policy. The current policy is in violation of European law and will result in Facebook having to revisit and revise it in some capacity.

Another issue worth considering is the voting process and procedure. A whopping 30% of the entire Facebook user base has to approve the changes for them to become binding. Facebook is certainly not going out their way to draw attention to the matter. Information about the pending vote was posted on the Facebook and Privacy page and the Facebook Site Governance page – that’s it. How many of their 900 million users will even be aware a vote is taking place? Our prediction is that the 30% threshold will not come close to being met, and it will be business as usual on the Facebook platform.

Even though we feel like we are fighting a losing battle, we still must do our part. Follow the link below to cast your vote:


We recommend voting to keep the Existing Documents in place. Voting ends June 8th.

Recommended Resources

BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.

PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.

Do Not Track + is a FREE browser plugin created by Abine. This easy to install plugin keeps websites from tracking you. If you value your online privacy, then you should definitely take advantage of this free product.

Action Alert | Free Parental Control offers a 100% free Internet safety solution designed for parents. There is also a Maximum Protection option for parents that need a more advanced set of tools.

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