Facebook tightens safeguards after violating Canada's law


In July 2009 after an in-depth study of the site spurred by complaints from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, Canada's Privacy Commissioner issued a ruling that Facebook was in direct violation of the country's privacy laws. Among the regulator's complaints: the company's privacy policies were often confusing, incomplete, and generally lacked transparency; the company did not make a reasonable effort to inform users how their private information would be used; the default settings were opt-out rather than opt-in; and users were not told that their privacy settings were changing when they granted apps access to their information. In August 2009, Facebook agreed to make changes to give users better protection. These included making it clear that users could delete, as well as deactivate, their accounts, and providing better protection for non-users, as well as restricting developers of games and quizzes. Facebook said the changes would apply worldwide, not just to users in Canada.
tags: Facebook, Canada, regulatory actions, privacy policies
Writer: Wojtek Dabrowski
Publication: Reuters

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