Facebook solicited user feedback on changes to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) this past week, and it is now reviewing the comments before it decides whether to move forward with the revised document. When Facebook closed the commenting period yesterday, English-speaking users had left 526 comments and Spanish-speaking users had commented 186 times, but the majority of input came from German users, who left a whopping 36,874 comments. Facebook's privacy policies have drawn fire from the European Union — and from German courts in particular — in recent months.

The majority of the commentary was negative — nothing new for Facebook, which receives user criticism for everything from security changes to the slightest of design tweaks. A major point of objection was the noted behavior of Facebook apps; namely, that they can access any information a user has access to, even if it is data shared by a friend that has never downloaded the app in question themselves. It's important to note, however, that the changes to the Statement don't actually constitute new privacy policies on their own; the company's Data Use Policy, which is not being changed, governs those practices. The updated SRR simply clarifies already-existing Facebook practices, but from the reaction, it seems clear that many of the policies were news to users.

Facebook utilized a similar review period when it updated its Privacy Policy last September, adopting the new document within an hour of the close of the commenting window. Given the precedent, it seemed evident that Facebook would be following a similar pattern with the SRR revisions. However, a company spokesperson has informed us that an extended review period was always planned in this case, and it does not represent any sort of delay based upon the nature of the user feedback received. Facebook does not currently have a timeline for when it will finish its review.