Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says the social network will return to its previous terms of service regarding user data ownership in the face of a barrage of criticism and planned legal threats from privacy organisations.
Facebook u-turn, 'substantial revision'
“Victory! You spoke, and facebook listened," shouts the Facebook user group page.
In a blog today Facebook's Zuckerberg said the move was only temporary "while we resolve the issues that people have raised".
"Many of us at Facebook spent most of today discussing how best to move forward. One approach would have been to quickly amend the new terms with new language to clarify our positions further. Another approach was simply to revert to our old terms while we begin working on our next version.
"We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don't plan to leave it there for long.
"More than 175 million people use Facebook. If it were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world. Our terms aren't just a document that protect our rights; it's the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world. Given its importance, we need to make sure the terms reflect the principles and values of the people using the service.
"Our next version will be a substantial revision from where we are now. It will reflect the principles I described yesterday around how people share and control their information, and it will be written clearly in language everyone can understand. Since this will be the governing document that we'll all live by, Facebook users will have a lot of input in crafting these terms.
"You have my commitment that we'll do all of these things, but in order to do them right it will take a little bit of time. We expect to complete this in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we've changed the terms back to what existed before the February 4th change, which was what most people asked us for and was the recommendation of the outside experts we consulted."
The backlash against Facebook's updated privacy policies was about to expand. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is preparing to file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over the social network's updated licenses, according to PC World.