WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, Facebook announced significant improvements to its privacy management tools, allowing users to exercise greater and easier choice over sharing of their information on the site. The following statement may be attributed to Berin Szoka, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Internet Freedom at The Progress & Freedom Foundation:
By giving users powerful new tools to further protect their privacy, Facebook has employed a potent weapon to deal with marketplace apprehensions: self-regulation. Government intervention stands little chance in acting as swiftly or as effectively to tackle such matters. Rather than short-circuiting the self-regulatory process, we should trust that users are capable of choosing for themselves if given the right tools, and that companies like Facebook will respond to reputational pressure to develop, and constantly improve, those tools. That approach is far more likely to move us towards the ideal of user empowerment than is heavy-handed government regulation, which would override marketplace experimentation and have many unintended consequences for free online sites and services like Facebook.
Szoka is available for comment. Please contact Mike Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.