Under FTC's Microscope: Facebook Privacy, Again

Feds looking into proposed new rules

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 12, 2013 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two weeks after Facebook's privacy policies were given yet another edit, the feds are taking a closer look. The Federal Trade Commission is deciding whether the proposed policies violate a 2011 agreement that forces the social network to get the explicit consent of users before it dishes out their private info, the New York Times reports. "Facebook never sought out a discussion with us beforehand about these proposed changes," a FTC rep said yesterday. "We’re monitoring compliance with the order. Part of that involves interacting with Facebook."

But, according to PC World, this is no official inquiry—just a "regular monitoring program" set up with the initial agreement. Facebook maintains they've done nothing to breach it, or a 2013 class-action settlement requiring the site to show users which ads they've been used in. And though six privacy groups have complained about the new changes, "We routinely discuss policy updates with the FTC and this time is no different," a rep said. "Importantly, our updated policies do not grant Facebook any additional rights to use consumer information in advertising. Rather, the new policies further clarify and explain our existing practices."

A Facebook employee walks past a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
A Facebook employee walks past a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Aa sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
Aa sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
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