If a California regulator has his way, social media networks such as Facebook would face harsher penalties and stricter regulation when it comes to how they handle your personal, private data. So far the idea has been to allow social media networks to police themselves. Legislators have taken a hands-off, “buyer beware” approach. This has been good for social media which has seen enormous growth over the past few years.
California Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett has a bill floating through her statehouse which would shift things around a great deal and force companies to change the way they do business.
This seems like a good idea. In order for social media to continue to grow and thrive it must deal with the problems which arise whenever someone feels their personal privacy has been invaded. The best way to do this is to legislate who can do what, how and why. When all the rules are the same when it comes to private data then users will feel more protected and be more likely to trust social media in general.
The bill in question, the Social Networking Privacy Act (SB 242), would demand major concessions, which Facebook and other social media sites want to avoid.
“Facebook has been very passive about security. They put the onus on the user to figure the security out on their own,” said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group, Computer World reports. “Now it would automatically be more secure.”
It’s no surprise that Facebook opposes the bill and the specific measures that it contains, but their opposition probably stems just as much from the precedent that government oversight would set for an industry used to being free from government interference.
The company has reportedly conveyed their concerns to California Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, who is behind the bill.
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