Now is probably your last chance to vote on whether you dislike Facebook’s new privacy changes. You’re voting on your right to vote in the future, as well as several other important proposed changes that won’t be good for your privacy. (Want the details about what’s changing? We read the fine print and explain the 5 biggest changes here.)
If you were one of those people who posted that status update that you “hereby declare that [your] copyright is attached to all your personal details,” or you know people who posted it, here’s your chance to do something that actually could affect your privacy rights on Facebook. And no, simply complaining in a status update that you don’t authorize Facebook to use your data isn’t going to do anything to protect you.
To protect your privacy and prevent Facebook from expanding the network of advertisers and other companies with whom it shares your personal information, we recommend voting to keep the existing documents. You have from now until December 10, 2012 to vote. We’ll show you exactly how to cast your vote in the step-by-step process below.
Note that the results of the vote won’t be binding unless at least 30% of Facebook’s over 1 billion members participate. That’s over 300 million votes, and it gets even messier when you consider all the people who signed up for an account and never use it, or spammers who make dozens of fake accounts to carry out identity theft and fraud. Plus Facebook doesn’t make the vote obvious by posting it on everyone’s home feed: it’s tucked away on a hardly-known page called Facebook Site Governance.
How to vote against Facebook’s anti-privacy changes:
Step 1: Log in to Facebook.
Step 2: Go to the Facebook Site Governance page at https://www.facebook.com/fbsitegovernance
Step 3: Click on the “Site Governance Vote” tab. It looks like this:
Step 4: Clicking on the tab will open a pop-up that prompts you to “Log in with Facebook to vote.” Authorize by clicking the blue button. (And Facebook already knows everything about you, so while you should think twice before signing into other sites with Facebook or authorizing apps to use your Facebook data, you’re not losing anything by doing so here.)
Step 5: A page will open titled “About the Vote.” Click on the green “Vote” button to continue.
Step 6: You’ll be taken to a new page where you’ll see the proposed policy changes and be able to cast your vote. Based on the privacy threats we outline, we urge you to vote for the existing documents. And now’s also a good time to use Facebook’s sharing functionality to get the word out to your friends!
Step 7: You’re done! You’ll see a chart showing you how people have voted so far, as well as the number of people who’ve participated.
In all likelihood we’ll never get 300 million votes, but let’s not go down without a fight: let’s use the last public vote on Facebook to make it clear that we don’t want these changes and that we aren’t okay with Facebook harvesting our personal information.