Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Dear MoveOn member,

Facebook's playing fast and lose with your privacy—again.

With their new application, "Places," you can let friends know where you are. For example, you can "check in" at "Fenway Park" or "Hillside Mall," and a post will appear on Facebook.

But the problem is that once you've used Places, other people can check you in at a location—whether or not you want others to know where you are—without your permission.1

Not only is this a serious privacy concern, there's real potential for danger—from burglars that could use this to target unoccupied homes or for victims of domestic violence or stalking. 

So we've launched a new Facebook group calling on Facebook to stop invading its users' privacy and to make all "Places" sharing features fully opt-in.

Click here to join the group:

Then, take two minutes to update your privacy setting right now by following the steps laid out at the link below.

Click here:

And make sure to share this page with all your friends on Facebook and Twitter, or by forwarding this email.

We know users can have a big impact on Facebook's policies, especially where privacy is concerned. In 2005, a user revolt led Facebook to get rid of their intrusive Beacon program.2 And earlier this year, MoveOn members and others helped force Facebook to roll back some changes that left users' information exposed without their consent.3

But privacy is still a major concern for many Facebook users, and the recent creation of "Places" has only made the situation worse. Users now face the prospect of having their location revealed by others without their explicit permission and with no warning. It's encouraging that Facebook decided to make the Places application opt in, but unless users give explicit permission for others to post their location, that feature shouldn't be enabled.

As the ACLU of Northern California put it, "In the world of Facebook Places, 'no' is unfortunately not an option...Facebook is rolling out 'here now,' privacy later."4

Privacy isn't just a personal preference—it's a matter of personal safety and security. The bottom line is that sites like Facebook should respect user privacy, and that means only giving away information if users affirmatively opt in to any sharing first.

Click the link below to join our Facebook group, and be sure to share this news with friends as well: 

Thanks for all you do.

–Kat, Steven, Duncan, Jeff, Amy, and the rest of the team


1. "5 Things to Know About Facebook Places," Detroit Free Press, August 24, 2010

"New Facebook Feature Raises More Privacy Concerns," CNN, August 19, 2010

"Keep Facebook Places From Driving You Crazy," The New York Times, August 25, 2010

"The First Thing You Should Do With Facebook Places: Don't Let Other People Tag You," Gawker, August 18, 2010

2. "Facebook Apologizes, Pulls Back on Social Ads," San Francisco Chronicle, December 6, 2007

3. "Facebook Releases New Privacy Policy," NPR, May 26, 2010

4. "Facebook Places: Check This Out Before You Check In," ACLU of Northern California, August 18, 2010

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PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to eddie alfaro on August 25, 2010. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.

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