FOSI and Facebook Encourage Responsible Digital Citizenship, Provide Tips for Maximizing Online Privacy

January 27, 2010

WASHINGTON – In conjunction with Data Privacy Day, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and Facebook today issued the following statements and privacy guidelines for consumers to consider when surfing the web. Data Privacy Day is recognized around the world to bring attention to the many benefits of mobile communication, but at the same time, acknowledge the potential risks it brings with it.

“Few too many people read privacy policies and set privacy settings,” said Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI. “Data Privacy Day is a good time to think about what information consumers are revealing about themselves on the web and take the time to talk to kids about the content they are posting and where they are posting it. We need to work together to be more responsible digital citizens.”

“We proudly support Data Privacy Day, a day that raises awareness about protecting privacy in an increasingly digital world,” said Richard Allan, Facebook director of European public policy. “Privacy is core to the Facebook experience, and a fundamental element of maintaining personal privacy online is being able to control what you share and with whom. Facebook offers users industry leading tools to control their information, and recommends that people adjust their privacy settings to match their level of comfort and review them often.”

Facebook, FOSI's newest member, supports Data Privacy Day by encouraging all Facebook users to:

Never share your Facebook password with anyone

Remember that accepting a friend request has implications for your personal privacy, so use good judgment when accepting these requests

Decide what level of visibility is right for you by customizing your privacy settings at

Use Facebook’s Publisher Privacy Controls, which allow you to choose who can see each post you create

Distinguish between information that is appropriate to share with close friends and family, and ideas and opinions that you wish to share more broadly. Just as you would tell a friend about your upcoming vacation plans but wouldn’t share your itinerary with a stranger, so you can - and should - use the same common sense on Facebook

About FOSI

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) works to make the online world safer for kids and their families by identifying and promoting best practices, tools and methods that also respect free speech. FOSI’s members include: AOL, AT&T, Blue Coat Systems, BT Retail, Comcast, Facebook, France Telecom, Google, GSM Association, Kingston Communications, Loopt, Microsoft, MySpace, NCTA, Ning, Nominum, Optenet, Privo, RuleSpace, Sprint, StreamShield, Symantec, Telefónica, TELMEX, The Wireless Foundation, Verizon, Yahoo. FOSI hosts an annual international conference to bring together Internet safety advocates from a variety of sectors, including global corporations, government, non-profits, academia and the media, to discuss the current pulse of online safety and emerging solutions that will enhance it. For more information, please visit

About Facebook

Founded in February 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Facebook is a privately held company and is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif.