Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Facebook settles feds over privacy settings

How do you feel about Facebook's privacy settings? Too little or too much? Well, the social networking site is settling with the Federal Trade Commission over charges it deceived consumers with its privacy settings to get people to share more personal information than they originally intended to.

The FTC charged Facebook told people they could keep the information they share private, then allowed it to be made public. As we all know, nothing we put on the internet is TOTALLY private. The charges go back to at least 2009, according to a report by the Associated Press, when Facebook changed its privacy settings so that information users deemed private became viewable to everyone.
The settlement requires Facebook to get people's approval before changing how it shares their data. In a blog post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company has made a "bunch of mistakes," but added this has often overshadowed the good work the site has done. Zuckerberg said many of the FTC's concerns have been addressed.
The settlement is similar to the one Google agreed to earlier this year over its Buzz social networking service. Like Google, Facebook has agreed to obtain assessments of its privacy practices by independent, third-party auditors for the next 20 years. But, Facebook isn't paying anything although future violations could lead to civil fines. In response to the settlement, Facebook has created two new executive positions - chief privacy officer of products and a chief privacy officer of policy.

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