How quickly Facebook and Google made up after last week's secret smearing fiasco! Facebook, Google, Twitter, Skype and others cosigned a letter "strongly opposing" a bill introduced by California State Senator Ellen Corbett that would force sites to explain privacy settings in "plain language."
Corbett is sick of social media companies duping people into sharing too much private information. Her recently introduced Social Networking Privacy Act (SB 242) would require a notice before users hand over their personal information to a site. In Sen. Corbett's own words, "You shouldn't have to sign in and give up your personal information before you get to the part where you say, 'Please don't share my personal information." The bill would also grant parents the right to request photos or text be removed from any of their children's social networking pages within 48 hours.
Calling the bill "unnecessary" the letter from Facebook, Google and the other tech giants details how the bill would damage business for the California technology sector and violate the Constitutions of both the United States and California based on First Amendment rights. With a $10,000 fine for each violation, the bill could certainly have some repercussions on the companies' bottom lines. What a turnaround for the infamously censor-happy Facebook to start defending free speech.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.