The judgment led to a settlement that required Facebook to respect the privacy wishes of its users and also subjected the company to regular privacy audits for the 20 years following the settlement. Going forward, Facebook would need to get explicit approval from users before changing privacy controls.
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Fast-forward to today, and some privacy experts are saying that the company is up to its old tricks again, in violation of the FTC settlement.
The Associated Press (News - Alert) wrote last week that six privacy-advocacy groups have sent a letter to the FTC highlighting new changes the social networking company has made to privacy policies. The groups allege that the revisions violate the 2011 settlement. The FTC (News - Alert) has said it will look into Facebook’s changes, which were proposed at the end of August, but stressed that its examination of the new policies is routine.
"As in all cases, we're monitoring compliance with the order," FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan said in a statement.
The agency did say, however, that Facebook failed to clear the new policies with federal officials before launching the new policy.
“Facebook never sought out a discussion with us beforehand about these proposed changes,” said Kaplan. “We’re monitoring compliance with the order. Part of that involves interacting with Facebook.”
According to the New York Times, Facebook’s new policies make clear to users that they are required to grant Facebook permission to use their personal information in advertising as a condition of using the social networking service.
Edited by Alisen Downey