Facebook Settles Federal Privacy Case

Will face 20 years of audits

By John Wist
|  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011  |  Updated 10:22 AM EDT
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Celebrity Ink

Facebook will now have to ask users for permission in order to change privacy settings.

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You’ve seen the posts or groups started on Facebook to protest new security and privacy settings. Well now, the social network will have to ask for your permission before changing those security settings.

It’s part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The charges against Facebook stem from changes the site made to its privacy settings in 2009, that made parts of user profiles public by default. The FTC says that policy deceived consumers and forced many users to share more information than they intended.

“I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post yesterday.

He did say that several high profile mistakes have, “overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done,” and that they have already addressed many of the FTC’s concerns.

Facebook will also be subject to 20 years of independent reviews and audits. Any time the social networking site violates the settlement, they will be forced to pay a fine of $16,000 a day.

The settlement comes as Facebook reportedly prepares to go public. The company is expected to be valued at more than $100 billion.
 

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