Regulatory Watchdogs

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Greenpeace International
Public Citizen
Sierra Club

Center for Auto Safety
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Clean Air Trust
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Environmental Defense
ETC Group
FM Watch
Friends of the Earth
PR Watch
State Public Interest Research Groups
U.S. Public Interest Research Groups


Facebook Privacy?
Two major watchdog organizations, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) are planning to take regulatory action at the Federal Trade Commission against the popular social networking website Facebook. The concerns center on two of the website’s advertising programs which publicize information about members to other members.

Specifically, Facebook's SocialAds program “tells members which of their friends have signed on as ‘fans’ of the advertisers” who are participating in the program. The website’s more controversial Beacon ads notify “members' friends about their off site purchases” although Facebook users had multiple opt-out options from this program even before its recent reforms.

A senior EPIC official explained his objection to the SocialAds program by explaining that “part of what Facebook is doing is taking from people the value of their endorsements, which traditionally is something that people can be compensated for, and selling it back to their advertisers.”

What’s next, complaints that people who make a spectacle of themselves at sporting events aren’t compensated for their entertainment value? If people don’t want to “endorse” certain advertisers, maybe they shouldn’t sign up as “fans” of those advertisers in the first place. If you want even greater privacy, don’t post personal information on the internet. EPIC has taken the very real issue of electronic privacy and trivialized it.

See article

CRE Homepage