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Facebook Hires ACLU Privacy Lawyer

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Facebook, which has tangled with privacy advocates, has hired as its director of public policy a privacy specialist from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The New York Times’ Bits blog, which first reported the hiring of Timothy Sparapani, notes that he has “deep ties to some of (Facebook’s) loudest critics at organizations like the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy.”

At the ACLU, Sparapani served as legislative counsel on privacy issues, experience that should be useful as Facebook continues to wrestle with user privacy issues,exemplified by the recent backlash over changes to its terms of service.

Sparapani, who will be based in Washington, D.C., will report to Chris Kelly, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, the company said. Facebook said it would provide more details about Sparapani’s role when he starts in late April.