The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (Epic) said legislation was needed to prevent other websites exerting control over users' own personal information and content such as photographs. The United States-based organisation was poised to make a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about new terms for users of Facebook that appeared to give the social networking site greater control of individuals' information. However, Facebook has since backed down over the changes following an outcry from users who feared their preferences and photos could be stored and used for future marketing. "This row underlines the need for comprehensive privacy laws," said Epic's president Marc Rotenberg told the BBC. "It is great that Facebook has responded by going back to its old terms of service. That is a step in the right direction, but these issues don't go away. It is going to be an ongoing concern for users until we get privacy laws in place."
"This just reflects the ongoing process of people trying to figure out the internet," John Byrne, a senior analyst at Technology Business Research Inc. told Computerworld.com. "The lesson that should be learned is that these content sites are not your own personal diaries. Consider it more as publishing and less about your personal circle of friends. People need to wake up." Facebook faced similar criticism in 2007 when it introduced a service called Beacon which users feared would provide advertisers with too much of their information. Mr Rotenberg added: "Mark Zuckerberg said users should be able to own and control their information. If everyone starts with that principle we can end up in a very good place. On a lot of these issues where there is confusion on that point, I see a lot of debate." ( www.telegraph.co.uk )