Facebook and other social network giants are opposing a new Californian bill, which requires all social network websites to make users' information private by default. A spokesman claims that the bill would be a big threat to their businesses.
According to the new bill, social networking sites are not allowed to publish users' basic information unless the user gives permission. Failure to remove information requested by the user within 48 hours may result in $10,000 fine. The bill also states that parents should be given the authority to access their children’s account, users under the age of 18, and setting up some perimeters.
Senator Ellen Corbett, who authored the new bill known as California SB242, said, “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.’”
Facebook and other Internet companies have opposed the bill. According to them, if the default setting for the newly registered users are set to private, they cannot be recognized by other users unless they manually change their setting, which will, in turn, make the value of the sites to go down. And this will not only affect one state but the entire nation, they claim.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said: any legislative or regulatory proposal must honor users’ expectations in the contexts in which they use online services and promote the innovation that fuels the growth of the Internet economy. This legislation is a serious threat both to Facebook’s business in California and to meaningful California consumers’ choices about use of personal data.
Also, Tammy Cotathe, who is the executive director of the Internet Alliance trade association that includes Google, eHarmony, Match.com, Facebook and other companies wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He pointed out that the bill would force users to make decisions about privacy and visibility of all information well before they even used the service for the first time, and in such a manner that they are less likely to pay attention and process the information.
But despite the opposition, Corbett remains unmoved. Rather, he has criticized the companies about their campaign to kill SB 242, saying, It's very strange to have opposition in a stealth position.