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Facebook Settles With FTC, Admits Privacy Violations 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the present-your-wrist-for-a-slapping dept.
Animats writes "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 settlement is soft on Facebook; there are no fines or criminal penalties. According to the FTC, in December 2009, Facebook 'changed its website so certain information that users may have designated as private – such as their Friends List – was made public. Facebook didn't warn users that this change was coming, or get their approval in advance.' Among the other complaints (PDF), 'Facebook represented that third-party apps that users' installed would have access only to user information that they needed to operate. In fact, the apps could access nearly all of users' personal data – data the apps didn't need.'" The settlement demands that Facebook avoid any new deceptive privacy claims, and also that users must give explicit permission for changes to be made to their privacy preferences. Facebook will be audited every two years for the next two decades to make sure they're holding up their end of the settlement. In a lengthy statement on Facebook's blog, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that they'd made mistakes.
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Facebook Settles With FTC, Admits Privacy Violations

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  • by CmdrPony (2505686) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:32PM (#38207148)
    Not only did they slap Facebook for privacy violations, but also Google a few months ago. They IMO are the two largest privacy violators on the internet.

    Now, maybe someone at Facebook will read this and notice: Please fix the chat so that if I have set it offline, it will not quickly popup me as online and then back offline when I later visit Facebook. It seems like a stupid bug. It also leads to stupid private messages (especially from my mother -_-) when I just want to check updates.

    Other than that, Facebook has done a pretty good job. It's still the most useful social network on the internet, and I doubt Google+ will be ever able to compete with it.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      So sue them. Start a class action suit. There's plenty of material there to work with, thanks to the FTC.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Class actions are even worse! The lawyers get huge paydays while the victims get a coupon towards their next purchase with the company that screwed them just adding insult to injury!

        As for TFA let me guess...another slap on the wrist? In the past decade any power the regulatory agencies had has been taken away or bought out by bribery. I doubt very seriously you'll ever see another big court case like the MSFT one in the 90s, Citizens United saw to that. These slaps on the wrist are just the cost of doing

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      Not only did they slap Facebook [on the back] for privacy violations, but also Google

      They're getting another two years to put things in order before the first audit, then they get to do a half-year-screw-everyone, half-year-clean-up-the-mess between year-long audits.

      • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:53PM (#38208156)

        Not only did they slap Facebook [on the back] for privacy violations, but also Google

        They're getting another two years to put things in order before the first audit, then they get to do a half-year-screw-everyone, half-year-clean-up-the-mess between year-long audits.

        Further: The settlement is soft on Facebook; there are no fines or criminal penalties.

        So in addition to getting away Scott free, they have two years to clean up their act, by which time the opt-ins will be in place but so disguised and muted that users will fall into the same trap.

        Facebook users don't care about privacy, the whole point of Facebook is and always has been a meat market method of self promotion. Facebook knows this and will simply make it so limiting to do anything except opt-in that most users will simply check the Opt-In-to-Everything box.

        • by CmdrPony (2505686)
          Remember that this settlement goes back to actions in 2008-2009. They have been compliant with opt-ins since then, as users complained about it a lot (which is why you still see it on Slashdot). So no, it won't take two years for them to put them in place. They already are.

          However, I would like FTC to take a look at Google's practices with Google+. There everything is public on default. Hell, the moment you sign up your details are immediately available on Google because your profile is public by default.
        • by wdef (1050680)
          Mod ^up parent please.
  • Mixed Feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by forkfail (228161) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:36PM (#38207206)

    On the one hand, good on the FTC. Especially for the followup reviews.

    On the other hand, this once again proves that it's far easier to just do something contractually and ethically questionable yet massively profitable and wiggle out of the consequences later (especially if you've the money for a squadron of lawyers) than to do things above the board from the get go.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CmdrPony (2505686)
      What should FTC have done? Fine them for some hundred thousands? Facebook has the cash. Shut down the company? Facebook is based in Ireland, and it would mean lots of shit to many people (like it or not, Facebook has become part of life for almost every human on earth)
      • Re:Mixed Feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:46PM (#38207336)
        Too big to fail eh? What you do is fine them. Hit them in the pocket book. That's what you are suppose to do.

        FYI Facebook is not based in Ireland. That's for accounting practices.
        • by CmdrPony (2505686)
          Obviously, but it's also their legal base. As it legally stands now, they outsource their programming and datacenter jobs to US. How the world changes... :)
          • Obviously, but it's also their legal base. As it legally stands now, they outsource their programming and datacenter jobs to US. How the world changes... :)

            I'd disagree a little bit here. I'd say that 'outsourcing' as we all conceive it is almost gone. What we have now is sector-based fulfillment. Where something is done/created has more to do with the fact that it can't really be done somewhere else anymore...the infrastructure has been dismantled (by design). Natural resources come from X, production comes from Y, bits of service come from Z and only where required is service provided locally. Of course, this doesn't necessarily apply to small business,

      • Re:Mixed Feelings. (Score:5, Informative)

        by msauve (701917) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:56PM (#38207484)
        "Facebook is based in Ireland"

        Huh? No, they're not [docstoc.com], although they could certainly have a subsidiary incorporated there.
      • by morgauxo (974071)
        Facebook has become part of life for almost every human on earth

        How do we change that?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by CmdrPony (2505686)
          Why should we change it? To what? I'm happy to see how easy it is keep contact with people and get to know new interesting places and guys and girls. This is especially true if you travel a lot, like I do. I noticed it's incredibly easy to use the connections you have on Facebook to find new stuff, be it other people, places, or even restaurants. I honestly don't think we had it any better before.

          For all its faults, Facebook has done incredible job at connecting just normal people all over the world. No m
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Why should we change it? To what? I'm happy to see how easy it is keep contact with people and get to know new interesting places and guys and girls. This is especially true if you travel a lot, like I do. I noticed it's incredibly easy to use the connections you have on Facebook to find new stuff, be it other people, places, or even restaurants. I honestly don't think we had it any better before. For all its faults, Facebook has done incredible job at connecting just normal people all over the world. No matter if they related to you, your friends you have met somewhere, friends you haven't seen in a while or totally new people. It really has brought people closer to each other, and introduced people to other ones that share the same interests. You just have to know how to use it.

            AC's Observation: the more technically knowledgable a person is, the less likely they are to use Facebook.

            Oh and this may surprise you... but people have met each other and gotten to know one another long before there was Facebook or even computers. People like you talk as if this was totally un-possible and unimaginable prior to Facebook selflessly revolutionizing your social life.

            • by CmdrPony (2505686)
              Technically knowledgeable doesn't really have much to do with it. I know plenty of such persons using Facebook. That attitude is just holier-than-thou attitude taken by geeky persons who cannot act socially, and determine that their own inabilities are only caused by everyone else just being so much stupider than they are.

              I'm quite aware people met and gotten to know each other before Facebook or computers. But it happened it much closer circles than now. Now you can get to know people that really interes
            • by wdef (1050680)

              People like you talk as if this was totally un-possible and unimaginable prior to Facebook selflessly revolutionizing your social life.

              Don't you mean:

              .. prior to Facebook selfishly documenting your social life ...

              FTFY.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        (like it or not, Facebook has become part of life for almost every human on earth)

        Somewhere between 800 and 900 million[1] is not "almost every human on earth".

        [1] http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

        • by CmdrPony (2505686)
          In the beginning of 2011 there was 2 billion internet users [internetworldstats.com] on earth, so it's half of that. Granted, the percentage is lower in Russia and China (because they have their own Facebook versions) but it is also higher percentage in western countries.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Almost every human on planet = roughly 6 billion people (out of 6.7 billion estimated)

            so 0.8 billion is almost same as 6 billion. Things you learn on slashdot these days.

        • by Sporkinum (655143)

          Once you remove all the single use, shell, and bogus accounts out there, you are probably down to 600 to 700 million.

      • by Stan92057 (737634)
        So, What are we to do just let them do whatever the hell they want to do?? Yes they should face fines from any profit they have. No they shouldn't be put out of business ...this time. But what should we do the next time? its already the what the 5Th time already they have been caught lieing.
      • (like it or not, Facebook has become part of life for almost every human on earth)

        Just over 10%, actually. Significant, but by far not 'most'.
      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        What should FTC have done? Fine them for some hundred thousands?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disgorgement_(law) [wikipedia.org]
        Admitting guilt is rare these days, but it's not an alternative to actually preventing companies from profiting off their bad acts.

        • by CmdrPony (2505686)
          But nothing Facebook did was actually illegal. FTC is merely a consumer protection agency, not a law enforcement one. They settled their arguments with Facebook because they found a common ground without going to courts. If FTC would had have a better standing on the issue, they most likely would have asked for "fine" settlement too as it would had made them look better. But they didn't have.
      • Fine them for some hundred thousands?

        Use MAFIAA accounting to figure out what each bit of private information was worth, then fine FB for the total amount. I'm guessing the amount would be non-trivial even by FB's standards.

      • by wdef (1050680)

        Shut down the company? Facebook is based in Ireland, and it would mean lots of shit to many people (like it or not, Facebook has become part of life for almost every human on earth)

        That may all be true but I still wish that Faecesbook (or Global Social Surveillance System to use its girly name) would simply *die*. I'm so sick of trying to explain to morons that putting their entire lives - their social connections, their thoughts, where they are, what they are doing now - documented with photos no less - on Faecesbook is maybe not such a great idea. The same people that balk at the idea of giving personal data to the government freely post the DNA of their entire lives to FB withou

        • by 9jack9 (607686)

          Did you know that Faecesbook provides a special interface just to assist three-letter agencies search the huge collection of data they are keeping about you?

          Citation needed. Seems pretty likely to me, but I'd love to see your source.

        • by CmdrPony (2505686)

          I'm so sick of trying to explain to morons that putting their entire lives - their social connections, their thoughts, where they are, what they are doing now - documented with photos no less - on Faecesbook is maybe not such a great idea.

          No one I know does what they describe. They post random things that they want to post. If Facebook was some kind of platform where you could see everything the person does streamed directly from his/her eyes, every though he has and so on, you might have a point. But everyone is posting only what they want, which usually means their interests. And in my circle, not that often either.

          If you think they are morons and you are trying to "explain" something to them, well gee. It's a problem, but the problem is

      • by cffrost (885375) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:22PM (#38210498) Homepage

        [...] Facebook has become part of life for almost every human on earth[.]

        For those of us who take a longer view, Facebook has become a part of our HOSTS file(s).

      • by 9jack9 (607686)

        like it or not, Facebook has become part of life for almost every human on earth

        Not even close. According to Facebook, "More than 800 million active users" (http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics). That's barely over 10%.

        Don't get me wrong, 800 million is a lot of people. But it could disappear overnight and most humans on earth would not suddenly find a part of their life missing.

        They probably consider me an active user. I don't recall the last time I logged in.

        I don't get the FB thing. I mean, I know what people use Facebook for. I don't know what I would use i

      • by camcorder (759720)
        Being part of people's life and affecting people's life is two different things. Granted one way or another Facebook affects people's life (News, events, (flawed) marriages etc.). But in no way, it's part of my life. I won't feel anything missing if I wake up one day seeing Facebook disappeared. I'm sure most people addicted to it won't feel big void if Facebook disappears. They will just find something else to waste time with. That's nature of humans, not Facebook's invention.
    • Re:Mixed Feelings. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dr.banes (823348) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:41PM (#38207278)

      On the one hand, good on the FTC. Especially for the followup reviews.

      On the other hand, this once again proves that it's far easier to just do something contractually and ethically questionable yet massively profitable and wiggle out of the consequences later (especially if you've the money for a squadron of lawyers) than to do things above the board from the get go.

      Yeah, better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      On the other hand, this once again proves that it's far easier to just do something contractually and ethically questionable yet massively profitable and wiggle out of the consequences later (especially if you've the money for a squadron of lawyers) than to do things above the board from the get go.

      Well, if the users of facebook are stupid enough to hand over all that personal information to a website they don't really know (sure everyone uses it, but how do you trust them?), it's their fault.

      Facebook doesn

      • Re:Mixed Feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @06:52PM (#38208846)

        The difference is that Google sells views and Facebook sells information. Both are potentially worrying, but of the two I'd be a lot more concerned about Facebook.

        • by CmdrPony (2505686)
          Facebook doesn't sell information any more than Google does. Hell, it's both of their most valuable assets and they guard it as much as they can. They both sell ads. And collect information, for themselves.
    • Re:Mixed Feelings. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chewbacon (797801) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:38PM (#38207960)
      Agreed. The damage is done and irreversible and Facebook is getting off pretty much free for it. All of those companies that had accessed that data is sitting on top of it now and can do whatever they would like with it.
  • When will people get it?
    • by forkfail (228161) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:41PM (#38207268)

      Probably never.

      Why? Because they fill a niche, and do it well. And the thing about social networks is this: whoever is the biggest is probably going to stay the biggest at this point. It's no good joining a social network that none of your friends use. And to some folks, Facebook is the internet.

      Not saying this is a good thing, or right - just my observations on the way that things are.

      • FB is like AOL was in the 90s: A ubiquitous, shitty walled garden that provided you access to a bunch of similar low tech jerks and annoying worthless adds, and like AOL, it will fade into nothingness when the whole 'social networking' craze dies down.

        If I could short FB stock over a twenty year period, I would make a killing.
        • It was the 20 year time period that really made me wonder. This is the internet...odds are FB won't be around for 10 years, let alone 20.
          • by CmdrPony (2505686)
            That period was beginning of the internet. Everything new is unstable. By now internet has matured and stabilized, a lot. Just like Google will be around in 20 years, so will be Facebook and even Microsoft. Well, unless the western world collapses and China takes over the world and we will all be Baiduing soon. But by then you probably won't care about Facebook being gone.
        • by catbutt (469582)
          I agree that they are like AOL, but don't agree that social networking will "die down" anymore than "getting online" would ever die down.

          Facebook will eventually be replaced (or be made relatively irrelevant) by an open solution that works better and fosters innovation, just as the web as we know it made AOL's proprietary environment irrelevant.
          • by CmdrPony (2505686)

            Facebook will eventually be replaced (or be made relatively irrelevant) by an open solution

            Like Diaspora?

            One of the Facebook's power is that it is a somewhat closed platform. The UI is standardized, there is not shit like with MySpace pages. The privacy things are global. Everything works the same way, it always works good and fast and most importantly, everyone is there.

            I don't see what an open source platform would provide better. And I mean actual things for users, not some technical stuff or features that only geeks care about.

        • Walls work both ways.

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)

        They took that niche from myspace. Who would have thought that was going anywhere? Pre-fb you would have had to say the same about myspace, just sayin.

        • by forkfail (228161)

          No, I don't believe that I would have said that.

          As CmdrPony noted above, the internet has stabilized quite a bit. (For that matter, the industry has a well, and we have a lot of corporations that are here to stay; there is little chance of them being bumped out of their niche at this point.)

          MySpace might have made themselves more than a stepping stone to social networking stabilization, but they did not. Facebook, on the other hand, has done so.

          • by Culture20 (968837)

            As CmdrPony noted above, the internet has stabilized quite a bit. ... MySpace might have made themselves more than a stepping stone to social networking stabilization, but they did not. Facebook, on the other hand, has done so.

            Facebook did it by initially providing a site with stable appearance instead of personalized backgounds and music loading on everyone's pages. Then they started changing things, and rapidly. I'm seeing my non-technical friend drop facebook lately because they're fed up with the changes (not the privacy changes that I disliked, but instead UI changes that confuse them).

        • by spiralx (97066) *

          Because Myspace was barely a social network at all? And apart from Myspace's lack of features, narrow demographic appeal, horrible homepages and constant technical difficulties, it lacked anything like the push notion of Facebook's news feed. Really, the two are hardly similar at all.

      • by adisakp (705706)

        Probably never.

        Why? Because they fill a niche, and do it well. And the thing about social networks is this: whoever is the biggest is probably going to stay the biggest at this point. It's no good joining a social network that none of your friends use. And to some folks, Facebook is the internet.

        Probably never???

        At one point a lot of people thought AOL was "The Internet". Then MySpace.com was "The Internet". Other sites like Orkut, Buzz, Waves, etc may have tried and failed to replace FB but FB replaced AOL and MySpace. I would hardly consider Facebook to immortal or irreplaceable. It's time for being "The Internet" depends solely upon the whims of fickle users.

      • by curty (42764)

        Just like the network called the Internet, there is no reason why online social networks need a central hub. Peer to peer social networks exist, as a concept at least.

        I imagine that if the popularity of social networking had been foreseen by the developers of the nascent Internet, discussion of "whoever is the biggest" social network would be as ridiculous as asking who is the biggest Email network, or the biggest WWW network.

        My hope is that one day there won't be a "biggest" social network, there will be o

    • by Tasha26 (1613349)
      When they get a goal in life or make enough money that friends and social b.s. network becomes an unimportant part of their life...
      • by CmdrPony (2505686)
        Friends become unimportant part of life and that you have better goals to pursuit? That's really healthy talk.
        • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:55PM (#38207464) Homepage

          This is pointing out one of the many problems with social network BS: The word "friend" has been hijacked and turned into "somebody you kinda sorta know from somewhere" rather than "somebody you choose to spend significant amounts of time with but isn't a family member".

          Nobody has 300 real friends, I promise you that much.

          • by CmdrPony (2505686)
            Well what would be more.. well, friendly, name then? Acquaints? Doesn't really have the same sound to it.

            For that matter, it's your own preferences. I don't friend people I don't know or consider to be "friends". However, it's a loose category. Some I know better, some I don't. And please, I don't want to categorize them. I'm not that nerdy. Friend is a good all-purpose term.
          • You're talking to the /. crowd. If we had friends, we wouldn't be here posting / reading.
          • by Culture20 (968837)

            Nobody has 300 real friends, I promise you that much.

            Nobody has 300 *close* friends. I have way more than 300 real friends: old friends, work friends, church friends, family friends, ex girlfriends, close friends. That's not counting acquaintances or friends of those friends. To me, someone I was friends with in high school does stop being my friend just because our lives diverged. At reunions, we happily get back into old patterns while discussing the latest happenings in our lives. If one of them came back into regular contact (and some have), I'd be v

            • by Culture20 (968837)

              To me, someone I was friends with in high school doesn't stop being my friend just because our lives diverged.

              Sigh. I blame autocorrect, but secretly I blame myself.

          • by eloki (29152)

            Right and this is where I think a lot of the mockery of the way people use FB makes no sense. Yes, I agree that no-one has that many real friends, but I think that is getting too hung up on the word "friend". Partly this is FB's own fault, because they market themselves as a way to stay in touch with your friends, family and schoolmates but those links are all grouped under the one name "Friends", which in other contexts we use only for closer relationships. In contrast, on Twitter you "follow" people and h

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      people can't even comprehend half the shit they do. I don't think people will ever get it.

      Meanwhile, when will facebook go out of business/dwindle/etc? give it 2 to maybe 5 years maximum.

  • Mistakes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jazman_777 (44742) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:39PM (#38207248) Homepage
    Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that they'd made mistakes.

    Because they don't believe they did wrong. They really believe they made mistakes, the first of which was "get caught."

    • Re:Mistakes? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:50PM (#38207410) Homepage

      Well, neither does the FTC really. If they did, they might have introduced some actual penalties rather than a slap on the wrist.

      • by rickb928 (945187)

        Audited. Now THAT'S gonna fix 'em!

        Every two years. Quaking in their slippers.

        Right. Nearly meaningless. The next step, in three years (it will take a full year of investigation), will be to fine them some insignificant amount and make them promise, again, to not do that.

        Truth is, the FTC has little incentive to actually punish bad behavior or compel corporations to stop their bad behavior:

        - If they were truly effective, not only would corporations stop behaving badly, but they would therefore have very

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      Actually, Zuckerberg is wrong now. Facebook never made any mistakes - their actions have been proven to be good business decisions.

      They assured their customers that their data was safe, thus helping to grow their market share. Then, years later when they're the most dominant company in their field the FTC tells them not to do it again, and they agree to not do it again. However, due to the network effect they don't have to do it, and raising the bar legally just helps to keep out smaller competitors.

      How

  • by dtjohnson (102237) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:41PM (#38207272)

    I wouldn't trust Zuckerberg to watch my dog and yet 100s of millions of people entrust his company with their most personal information. Odd, that.

    • by CmdrPony (2505686)
      In fact, close to one billion soon. It's now at 850 million people.
    • I would love to trust Zuckerberg to watch my dog. She'd probably bite his face off, and the would would forever be better off.
    • by Chewbacon (797801)
      Well, only of they put it in there to begin with. I always tell people not to trust big business no matter what they tell you. Do you really think Zuckerberg values the interest of someone who won't make his earnings in 10 lifetimes?
    • company with their most personal information

      Yeah, because I have my bank account details and medical information on Facebook.

      My "most personal information" that Facebook has is "I washed the dog yesterday" and "the potato plants are doing well." What are they going to do - try and sell me pooch shampoo? Oh no - the horror!

  • 10 billion isn't cool. You know whats cool? Invading privacy.
  • by homsar (2461440) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:52PM (#38207440)
    Facebook broke the law. As punishment, Facebook has to promise not to do it again, and be monitored to make sure it keeps its promise. I guess Facebook is only seven years old, and since companies have the same rights as people (apparently), I guess it makes sense they are given punishment befitting a person of that age.
    • by CmdrPony (2505686) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:13PM (#38207686)
      Facebook didn't break the law, and FTC isn't a law enforcement agency. They just broke practices FTC didn't like, and as FTC still does have some saying (just because of their standing), Facebook agreed to such settlement. Settlement.
      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Facebook didn't break the law,

        Well that kind of depends on whether or not we're treating EULAS & privacy policies as legally binding or not.
        But I guess we only use privacy policies and EULAS to browbeat the consumer, not to hold companies accountable.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by CmdrPony (2505686)
          Care to point out what part of their 2008 EULA and/or privacy policy they broke?
  • Every two YEARS?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by webdog314 (960286) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:52PM (#38207442)

    In Facebook's case those audits should probably be about once every two months... There was a new violation (location tracking) on the iOS mobile app just this week.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Facebook represented that third-party apps that users' installed would have access only to user information that they needed to operate.

    Who gets to decide what user information the app needs? The app developer, of course. And how do they make the claim that they need certain information? By trying to access it.

    For example, if I write an app that checks your SSN against a database of known compromised SSN's in order to alert you if yours has been compromised, the app needs your SSN, doesn't it? But really, what's the difference between this app and one that grabs your SSN in order to attempt to steal your identity? Both apps "need" your

    • by CmdrPony (2505686)

      So Facebook's claim that third-party apps would only have access to information they need is therefore equivalent to claiming that third party apps would only have access to information that they ask for. In other words, utterly meaningless. It's a weaselly statement that tricks users into thinking Facebook is protecting its users privacy, when really they're doing nothing of the sort.

      If you had ever developed Facebook apps or read their API, you would see that the information apps get are separated into different classes. All of which permissions Facebook (and solely Facebook) will ask from the user in order for the app to get access to them.

  • by Zadaz (950521) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:59PM (#38207538)

    Every two years for two decades!?!?!??!

    I bet all my private information that Facebook won't be around in 20 years. And 2 years is enough time to cause a ridiculous amount of damage when you have a billion users.

    I bet they're quaking in their repentant boots.

    • They probably are - those terms are much worse for them than something like "every month for six months". The latter would require them to clean-up shop in the short term, get past the audits, and the deal's done. Those FTC audits are long-term liabilities that are going to be hanging over Facebook for the next twenty years. They're going to have a lot bigger impact than a bit of short-term oversight.

  • Who else thinks that facebook knew they would get in trouble for this, yet realized they would make more money by profiting from it in the mean-time and only changing their policy once officially caught? (Ford Pinto-style).
  • by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:20PM (#38207758)

    From Mark Zuckerberg's post:

    As a matter of fact, privacy is so deeply embedded in all of the development we do that .....
    ....These privacy principles are written very deeply into our code.

    You've gotta admit, the guy does have a good sense of humor ;P

  • Never. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Caerdwyn (829058)

    Facebook will never hold to privacy agreements OR to FTC/court rulings, because it is far too profitable to break those agreements or rulings. After all, there are no real consequences for doing so. Given that Zuckerberg holds all of Facebook's users in open,. sneering contempt (in the same way that many ./ commenters do), what possible motive would he have to comply? It's not like the FTC is ever going to touch him.

    Or, to restate: there is a word for law enforcement without teeth. That word is "bitch". T

  • "Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that they'd made mistakes."

    Translation: "We got caught"

    "The settlement is soft on Facebook; there are no fines or criminal penalties."

    Translation: "We paid the FTC boss off or our backers are too powerful to screw with"

    "Facebook will be audited every two years for the next two decades to make sure they're holding up their end of the settlement."

    Translation: "We expect to get bought off every 2 years if you want us to cover for you"

  • by Sir Realist (1391555) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:58PM (#38208208)

    Now do better next time, or we'll politely ask you to do better next time again!

  • by BulletMagnet (600525) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @07:15PM (#38209100)

    Have Oracle buy Facebook, and call OraBook ... or Oracle, since Larry's still in charge. Pair those two up, and then we can have a company that EVERYONE hates.

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