Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 29th Nov 2011 21:24 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption "The social networking service Facebook has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers' express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established."
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Who watches the watchers?
by s-peter on Wed 30th Nov 2011 11:52 UTC
s-peter
Member since:
2006-01-29

This is one of the times when I wish there was a thumbs-down button for stories. (Even though the meaning of the thumbs-up is not obvious for me either. Is it supposed to mean that I am happy for the news item, or that I am happy that it was featured on OSNews? For this one I'm unhappy for the story itself but happy for it appearing here.)

This settlement brings too little too late for the consumers whom the FTC is supposed to protect. It just gives the message that companies can do anything they want with private information until they are told otherwise by the FTC, which seems to have taken 2 years for a big name like Facebook, and probably longer (if ever) for companies that are not so much in the spotlight.

I'm not sure if this agreement has been overseen by a judge, but I sincerely hope that it will be, and that the judge will impose stronger terms. The following somewhat related news item gives some hope that there are cases when the watchers are being watched.

"Judge rejects $285 million SEC-Citigroup agreement"
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/story/2011-11-28/c...

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