Facebook Reaches Settlement Agreement With FTC

Filed as News on November 29, 2011 6:46 pm

Facebook Logo with PhoneFacebook and the FTC have finally reached an agreement in regards to privacy uses which the governmental agency believes Facebook violated as the company shared more information with advertisers than their members originally agreed to allow.

In charges dating back to 2009 when Facebook changed its privacy settings so private “friends only” message became visible to everyone (such as friends lists) the FTC said:

“They didn’t warn users that this change was coming, or get their approval in advance.”

Under the agreed upon settlement Facebook must have users “opt-in” to any new changes made to the company’s privacy policy which would change the way in which a users privacy is shared. The new system replaces the company’s “opt-out” system which changed privacy settings for all users and then gave them the opportunity to opt-out through a confusing interface of user settings. 

In a Facebook blog post company CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that his team had made a “bunch of mistakes” and that those mistakes have often pushed the company’s accomplishments to the back burnder.

Under the settlement Facebook will have their privacy practices audited regularly by independent auditors for the next 20 years.

At this time no fines have been levied against the company however future violations would likely bring with them hefty monetary penalties.

Do you think the yearly audit and opt-in measures are enough to punish Facebook and make sure they stay in line with proper privacy practices?



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