ACLU lawyer to be Facebook public-policy director

Facebook hires an American Civil Liberties Union attorney with ties to privacy groups to serve in the newly created position of public-policy director.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills

Facebook has hired an American Civil Liberties Union attorney to serve in the new role of director of public policy for the social network, according to The New York Times.

As a senior attorney at the ACLU, Timothy Sparapani worked on issues like data mining and national ID cards. He also has close ties to privacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Center for Digital Democracy.

Representatives from those groups have complained about Facebook's advertising practices and its revised terms of service agreement. (The CDD complained this week that revised terms of service still give Facebook too much control over user data.)

Sparapani will join Facebook next month and report to Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly. Meanwhile, Kelly is expected to take a leave of absence in order to make a bid for the California attorney general spot in 2010.

A Facebook representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Tuesday.