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Facebook admits privacy mistakes following US punishment

30 November 2011

In yet another development in the debate on Facebook privacy settings, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced the imposition of various privacy requirements upon the company over the next 20 years.

The initial complaint to the FTC mainly related to changes Facebook made in 2009 that allowed public access to content on pages that users believed were private or inaccessible. The new imposed measures require the company to inform users as to how their data is shared, to obtain express consent to override their privacy settings, and to conduct an independent privacy audit every two years

Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook, yesterday acknowledged that the company had made a ‘bunch of mistakes’ that had ‘overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done’, whilst pointing to various privacy improvements they had since made.

This is the latest development in the ongoing battle over internet privacy between the FTC and internet companies.

It will be interesting to see how Facebook balance the new privacy requirements with their aim to provide automatic ‘frictionless’ sharing by users.

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