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At the beginning of the month we discussed the scrutiny that Facebook privacy practices have been receiving from government agencies in North America and beyond, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Now there are reports that "Facebook is nearing a settlement with federal regulators that would require the world's most popular online hangout to obtain approval from its users before making changes that expose their profiles and activities to a wider audience." That's a quote from a Huffington Post article that references a Wall Street Journal article.
The exact shape of the settlement is not yet clear, but we are watching this story closely and will bring you details when we have them. Why? Because a lot of people express a lot of interest whenever we write about Facebook and privacy. Clearly it is an issue of concern, and rightly so. Facebook could possess the largest accumulation of personal data the planet has yet produced. How it handles that data impacts more than personal privacy. It also has implications for both personal security and data security. An FTC settlement could produce a serious shift in how Facebook handles personal data, a shift toward greater control of personal data for everyone who uses Facebook. Stay tuned…
Author Stephen Cobb, ESET