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November 29, 2011 / trajsingh

“A small number of high-profile mistakes”


According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook made a “small number of high-profile mistakes”.

According to the FTC, it was a little more than that (via The Guardian):

1. 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. They did so without warning or approval in advance.

2. Facebook said that company’s apps would have access only to the information that they needed to operate. In fact, the apps could access nearly all of users’ personal data – data the apps didn’t need, said the FTC.

3. Facebook told users they could restrict sharing of data to limited audiences – for example with Friends Only. In fact, selecting Friends Only did not prevent their information from being shared with third-party applications their friends used.

4. Facebook had a Verified Apps programme, and claimed it certified the security of participating apps. It didn’t.

5. Facebook promised users that it would not share their personal information with advertisers. It did.

6. Facebook claimed that when users deactivated or deleted their accounts, their photos and videos would be inaccessible. But Facebook allowed access to the content, even after users had deactivated or deleted their accounts.

7. Facebook claimed that it complied with the US–EU Safe Harbour Framework that governs data transfer between the US and the European Union. It didn’t.

You decide whether this constitutes a “few high-profile mistakes”, or something a little more systematic, crass and completely at odds with the wishes and needs of its customers.

So now, before Facebook can change their privacy T’s & C’s again, they need to get permission. From the government.

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One Comment

  1. trajsingh / Nov 30 2011 11:55 am

    According to this (misguided, or simply trying to be provocative IMHO) Mashable article, it’s all our fault, not facebook’s.

    Did the FTC Just Ruin Facebook? http://mashable.com/2011/11/30/ftc-facebook-fallout/

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