Published On: Tue, Dec 2nd, 2014

Landmark Facebook Privacy Case Before Supreme Court As it Updates Privacy Measures

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Where to even begin talking about Facebook these days? The company is once again upgrading its privacy settings to allay user concerns while at the same time a case regarding Facebook threats is being heard by the Supreme Court.

America’s highest court is set to determine once and for all where free speech ends and slanderous speech begins on social networking sites in that country. But of course its ruling will have an affect worldwide as well.

The case deals with a Pennsylvania man who was convicted of making threatening statements about his estranged wife and law enforcement officials on Facebook and whether such comments Can be dismissed as just venting or if law enforcement can consider them to be actual threats which are illegal.

During his arguments, Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben, arguing for the government, said that the man’s intent did not matter. Dreeben said, “We want a standard to hold people accountable.”

Meanwhile Facebook sent its more than 1 billion users worldwide an e mail over the holiday telling them about its new Privacy Basics which will take effect January 1st, 2015.

The company said that, “Now, with Privacy Basics, you’ll get tips and a how-to guide for taking charge of your experience on Facebook. We’re also updating our terms, data policy and cookies policy to reflect new features we’ve been working on and to make them easy to understand. And we’re continuing to improve ads based on the apps and sites you use off Facebook and expanding your control over the ads you see.

“We hope these updates improve your experience. Protecting people’s information and providing meaningful privacy controls are at the core of everything we do, and we believe today’s announcement is an important step.”

The e mail was sent by Erin Egan, Facebook’s Global Chief Privacy Officer.

The company says that Privacy Basics will offer interactive guides to answer the “most commonly asked questions” about how one can control his information on Facebook. People can learn about untagging, unfriending, blocking and how to choose an audience for each of their posts. This information will be available in 36 languages.

Facebook says that along with its privacy checkup, reminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors, Privacy Basics is the latest step that the company has taken to help users make sure that they are sharing with the people they want.

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