After the US government filed
charges that Facebook violated US privacy law, Facebook finally
confessed that it failed to protect the privacy of its 800 million active
users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) welcomes the public to submit comments
on the settlement through December 30, 2011.
Under the proposed consent order,
which does not include any fines, Facebook is:
from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers'
to obtain consumers' affirmative express consent before enacting changes that
override their privacy preferences;
to prevent anyone from accessing a user's material more than 30 days after the
user has deleted his or her account;
to establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program designed to address
privacy risks associated with the development and management of new and
existing products and services, and to protect the privacy and confidentiality
of consumers' information; and
within 180 days, and every two years after that for the next 20 years, to
obtain independent, third-party audits certifying that it has a privacy program
in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order, and to ensure
that the privacy of consumers' information is protected.
The Facebook user community surely
welcomes these commitments to comply with privacy laws, and it's good to see
that FTC will monitor Facebook's privacy compliance for the next 20 years. The
20 year privacy monitoring is similar to the FTC's
agreement for Google to protect privacy after Google's social media disaster
However, time will tell if the FTC can really police social media privacy,
so it would be wise for social media users to protect their own privacy.
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