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Inside Story

Facebook’s privacy policy

Have social networks turned into a trap for users and a valuable source for advertisers?

More than 400 million people now have active facebook profiles.

But how many of them actually know what they’ve signed up to?

Facebook’s privacy policy used to be just over 1,000 words about five years ago.

Now it is almost 6,000 words –  more than any other social networking site – and longer than the US constitution.

Regulators around the world are now intervening to ensure websites such as facebook are not breaching privacy laws.

They are also looking at shifting the responsibility from users to the companies.

More facebook users are quitting after realising that its privacy policy has become confusing, time consuming, and controversial.

Internet social networks – have they turned into a trap for the users, and a valuable source of customers for advertisers?

Joining the programme are Jillian York, a project coordinator at the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society, Ben Parr, the co-editor of Mashable.com, a web-based social media news service, and Augie Ray, a senior analyst of social computing at Forrester Research a technology and market research company.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, May 19, 2010.