Facebook, U.S. Government Close to a Privacy Settlement
November 11, 2011 10:40 AM
comment(s) - last by
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook has agreed to take part in independent privacy audits for 20 years
It's no secret that Facebook has had privacy-related troubles in the past and present. The social networking giant has given apps access to user information such as
addresses and phone numbers
, and released features like
which automatically recognized people in your photos for speedy tagging. But after battling the issue of user privacy with the U.S. government, a settlement is finally near according to those close to the talks.
The settlement, however, does not require users to agree to all changes made on the social network. It only prohibits Facebook from making information already available on the site visible to more people than originally intended
without user's consent
. The settlement doesn't spell out how Facebook should obtain user consent.
All that's left is the final approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and it's expected to vote on the proposed settlement within the next few weeks. The FTC could approve it or send it back to FTC employees as well as Facebook for changes.
The U.S. government initially jumped on Facebook's case about privacy after the social network made changes to its privacy settings in December 2009. Facebook made it so that certain parts of a user's profile, such as their name, picture, and city, were public by default. Many users and privacy groups complained, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the FTC.
While Facebook preferred a five-year privacy audit commitment, it agreed to the 20-year commitment and has even stepped up to make some useful privacy changes to the site over time. In 2010, Facebook simplified its privacy settings and created a tool that would let users share information with only a group of people. In 2011, the social site started placing privacy controls on the user's profile page for added awareness and even allows users to control who views each post.
Facebook's 20-year agreement and push for a settlement only adds to the speculation that it may file an initial public offering (IPO) in 2012. Nothing has been confirmed regarding an IPO, but it could value the company at up to $100 billion.
Back in September, it was announced that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which audits activities outside of the U.S. and Canada, would also probe Facebook about privacy concerns after receiving
from Austria-based privacy group Europe versus Facebook.
The Wall Street Journal
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: 20 years
11/14/2011 1:26:06 PM
Myspace might be dead, but social media as a whole has never been stronger.
You could argue that Facebook might not exist in 20 years, but that will only mean that something similar has taken its place (Google plus perhaps? lol...).
This kind of policy doesn't apply solely to Facebook, but to all social media and its privacy concerns. It's sort of laying a groundwork for future social media endeavors, saying, "We will not accept shoddy privacy policies from social media companies".
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
"Hot Bots" Dupe Facebook Users, Steal Their Data
November 3, 2011, 2:30 PM
FTC, Irish Data Protection Commissioner Probe Facebook Over Privacy Concerns
September 30, 2011, 12:14 PM
Facebook Prompts More Privacy Anxieties with Facial Recognition Feature
June 8, 2011, 10:28 AM
Facebook Gives Apps Access to Addresses, Phone Numbers
January 17, 2011, 10:39 AM
Vine Users No Longer Allowed to Post Pornographic Videos
March 7, 2014, 1:47 PM
Facebook Launches Slightly Tweaked News Feed
March 7, 2014, 9:03 AM
Target Chief Information Officer Resigns in Wake of Holiday Data Breach
March 6, 2014, 2:01 PM
Quick Note: Yahoo to Require Users of its Services to Have Yahoo IDs
March 5, 2014, 4:55 PM
Ellen DeGeneres' Star-studded "Selfie" Briefly Crashes Twitter During Oscar Broadcast
March 3, 2014, 8:27 AM
Comcast Deal May See Netflix Start Paying Verizon, AT&T
February 25, 2014, 9:29 AM
Most Popular Articles
Facebook Kills Popular Messenger App for PCs
March 1, 2014, 4:01 PM
Mt. Gox Bitcoin CEO Can't Stifle Grin as he Bows in Apology for Bankruptcy
February 28, 2014, 5:00 PM
Bitcoin King: Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès' History of Arrests, Firings
March 5, 2014, 9:05 AM
Two More Microsoft Executives Leaving the Company
March 3, 2014, 4:38 PM
USAF Moves Forward With Long Range Bomber Program Despite Budget Crunch
March 4, 2014, 9:44 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information