US FTC orders Facebook to correct deceptive privacy settings and apps program

15/08/2012

Following a public comment period, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has accepted as final a settlement with Facebook which says the company shall not misrepresent in any manner the extent to which it maintains privacy or security for personal data. In addition, the company is to maintain a comprehensive privacy program and be subject to audits by independent third-party professionals for the next twenty years.

The settlement also prohibits Facebook from misrepresenting the extent to which it makes its users’ information accessible to apps, or the steps it takes to verify the privacy or security protections that apps provide.

Meanwhile, Billy Hawkes, Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner, has said that he will complete the second stage of his Facebook audit by early October. The first part, conducted last year, gave various recommendations to Facebook on how to improve its privacy practices. This time, the Commissioner will determine whether to take legal action against Facebook.  Ireland is the headquarters of Facebook's non-US business.

See the FTC settlement at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/facebook.shtm

 

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