Facebook recently proposed a wide variety of changes to its users data usage policy as well as its statement of rights and responsibilities (SRR) and offered them up to the Facebook community for feedback. The comment submission period has ended, and the number of comments exceeded the threshold of 7,000 required to trigger a vote. Facebook says it has made more revisions to its policies based on the feedback it received, and users now have one week to review and vote on the proposed changes. The voting period is now open, and users have until December 10th at 12pm PST to get their vote in. For the vote to be binding, however, more than 30 percent of Facebook's active user base must submit a vote, a goal that might be a bit of a challenge — last June, a minuscule proportion of Facebook's user base participated.
Somewhat ironically, one of the potential changes in play is the ending of Facebook's system of soliciting comments and potential votes before making revisions to its policies — the company feels that the policy of tying a vote to a specific number of votes encourages "quantity over quality" in terms of its feedback. Instead, it hopes to focus on discussing potential changes with its community through tools like webcasts and direct Q&A with the company's chief privacy officer Erin Egan.
Facebook vote participation doesn't have a great track record
One of the other biggest and more controversial changes would be a policy that allows Facebook to share user data across Facebook-owned entities like Instagram to help improve the quality of service provided. While it doesn't appear that Facebook is backing down from this change, the company does say it revised the policy to make it clear that any sharing is in compliance with all applicable laws and that Facebook will also always obtain the consent of its users when required.
If you're a Facebook user, it's probably In your best interests to take a look at the proposed measures and weigh in, while you're still given the opportunity to participate in the process. For more information on Facebook's proposed changes, the company will hold a live webcast on December 4th at 9:30am PST to answer more questions from users.
Update: Facebook has started sending out emails urging users to vote — while a banner on the site might be more effective, it's still a good step towards getting more people involved in the process. If you want to get educated with a high-level overview of the proposed changes, Facebook has you covered.