Most Read: Business

DJIA
0.11%
S&P 500
0.33%
NASDAQ
0.50%
 Last Update: 11:22 PM 09/01/2014

World Markets from      

 

Other Market Data from      

 

Key Rates from      

 

Blog Contributors

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

Post Tech
About / Where's Post I.T.?   |    Twitter  |   On Facebook  |  RSS RSS Feed  |  E-Mail Cecilia
Posted at 06:12 PM ET, 11/10/2011

Report: Facebook, FTC close to settlement on privacy

Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are reportedly close to a settlement on privacy, related to changes the company made to its policies. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company will have to agree to independent privacy audits in a settlement that is similar to the agreement the agency reached with Google over its Buzz social network this past spring. Google landed in hot water when the agency questioned whether or not its sharing features on the now-defunct Google Buzz social network were “deceptive” because they did not clearly define how the service would share personal data.

Similar complaints were leveled at Facebook. In December 2009, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and other privacy advocates filed a complaint with FTC saying that Facebook’s changes to its privacy policies disclosed “personal information to third parties that was previously not available” and that those changes violated user expectations of the service.

Facebook and the FTC both declined to comment on the report.

The company has come under scrutiny from privacy regulators and privacy advocates for changes it has made to its social network — particularly policies related to how users can share content on the Web site. In December 2009, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and other privacy advocates filed a complaint with FTC saying that Facebook’s changes to its privacy policies disclosed “personal information to third parties that was previously not available” and that those changes violated user expectations of the service.

“It's been almost two years since a coalition of U.S. consumer and privacy groups first filed this complaint with the FTC concerning Facebook's changes to its users' privacy setting. It's nice to see there may finally be action by the Commission,” said EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg.

Privacy advocates have called for the FTC to look into other aspects of Facebook’s impact on consumer privacy, including accusations that the company is tracking users across the Web. The social network recently beefed up its staff in Washington, D.C. with the addition of the privacy-focused hire of Erin Egan, a former partner and co-chair of Covington & Burling’s global privacy and data security practice.

By  |  06:12 PM ET, 11/10/2011

Tags:  Facebook, privacy

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company