Facebook Agrees to FTC Settlement and Privacy Audits

Dec 14, 2011

Facebook agreed to settle charges from the FTC complaint that Facebook deceived consumers regarding its privacy policy, citing Facebook's 2009 changes to privacy settings which transitioned users' personal information from private to public. The FTC also took issue with discrepancies in the amount of information Facebook transferred to third party app developers, and charged Facebook under a federal law that decries "unfair or deceptive" trade practices.

In a blog post about the settlement, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg acknowledged that Facebook had made "a bunch of mistakes" concerning privacy. The settlement bars Facebook from enacting privacy changes without express consent of users, requires that user content be inaccessible 30 days after account deletion, and subjects Facebook to biannual third-party audits to certify that it maintains a privacy program compliant with the FTC settlement.

(www.facebook.com, www.ftc.gov)