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  • Gerrit Eicker 11:49 on 30. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , EU Commission, , , , , , , , , , , Privacy Audits, Privacy Controls, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Privacy: FTC Settlement, EU Fires 

    While Facebook settles with the FTC, the EU commission starts firing at its business model; http://eicker.at/FacebookPrivacy

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:50 on 30. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      FTC: “The social networking service Facebook has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers’ express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established. … The proposed settlement bars Facebook from making any further deceptive privacy claims, requires that the company get consumers’ approval before it changes the way it shares their data, and requires that it obtain periodic assessments of its privacy practices by independent, third-party auditors for the next 20 years. – Specifically, under the proposed settlement, Facebook is: barred from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers’ personal information; required to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences; required to prevent anyone from accessing a user’s material more than 30 days after the user has deleted his or her account; required to establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program designed to address privacy risks associated with the development and management of new and existing products and services, and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of consumers’ information; and required, within 180 days, and every two years after that for the next 20 years, to obtain independent, third-party audits certifying that it has a privacy program in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order, and to ensure that the privacy of consumers’ information is protected. – The proposed order also contains standard record-keeping provisions to allow the FTC to monitor compliance with its order.

      ATD: “Facebook has agreed to 20 years of privacy audits in response to complaints by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it unfairly deceived users about the privacy of their personal information, as was anticipated. The settlement, which is not particularly punitive and comes years after some of the incidents in question, shames Facebook for promising users that their information was kept private while it was in fact shared with advertisers and outside applications that the users or their friends installed. … Facebook’s punishment is in line with what its competitors Twitter and Google have already agreed to: Clearer privacy policies that are audited every two years for the next 20 years.”

      AdAge: “Facebook has settled with the Federal Trade Commission on charges that it rolled out upgrades that overrode users’ privacy settings without obtaining their consent and shared their private information with third-party apps and advertisers. – The settlement marks the first time that the FTC has taken action against the social network, though its European counterparts have been more aggressive in attempts to regulate Facebook and others. The European Commission reportedly intends to amend data-protection laws to ban targeted advertising unless users explicitly opt in, and Facebook would be subject to fines if it fails to comply. … Like the settlement reached with Google over its now-defunct social-networking Buzz product in March, the settlement carries no financial penalty. Facebook is subject to a $16,000 fine per violation per day if it fails to comply with the terms of the order.”

      SEL: “[T]he FTC settlement is also a reminder that privacy is alive and well. It’s also concrete proof that there are consequences for being cavalier about privacy. – This is even more true in Europe, where governments and regulators take privacy 10x more seriously that we do in the US. There are several investigations pending in Europe; and proposed legislation to be introduced early next year by the European Commission would place disclosure requirements and other constraints around Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities.”

      NYT: “Several privacy bills are pending in Congress, and Internet companies have stepped up their lobbying efforts. The F.T.C., meanwhile, has ratcheted up its scrutiny of Internet companies. This year alone, it has reached settlement orders with some of the giants of Silicon Valley, including Google. – The order comes amid growing speculation about Facebook’s preparations for an initial public offering, which could be valued at more than $100 billion. The settlement with the F.T.C., analysts say, could potentially ease investors’ concerns about government regulation by holding the company to a clear set of privacy prescriptions.”

      VB: “Now with third party audits required for the next two decades, including the FTC’s new ability to monitor Facebook’s compliance with the settlement (standard record-keeping procedure), Facebook users will be much more informed and kept up-to-date with any changes the platform might make that has the potential to distribute or share a consumer’s private information without his or her express permission. Or that’s the hope, right?

      Zuckerberg, Facebook: “I founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives, but to do this everyone needs complete control over who they share with at all times. – This idea has been the core of Facebook since day one. When I built the first version of Facebook, almost nobody I knew wanted a public page on the internet. That seemed scary. … Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information.That said, I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes. In particular, I think that a small number of high profile mistakes, like Beacon four years ago and poor execution as we transitioned our privacy model two years ago, have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done. … I’m committed to making Facebook the leader in transparency and control around privacy. … Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission established agreements with Google and Twitter that are helping to shape new privacy standards for our industry. Today, the FTC announced a similar agreement with Facebook. These agreements create a framework for how companies should approach privacy in the United States and around the world. … Even before the agreement announced by the FTC today, Facebook had already proactively addressed many of the concerns the FTC raised. … In addition to these product changes, the FTC also recommended improvements to our internal processes. … As part of this, we will establish a biannual independent audit of our privacy practices to ensure we’re living up to the commitments we make. … Erin Egan will become Chief Privacy Officer, Policy. … Michael Richter will become Chief Privacy Officer, Products. … These two positions will further strengthen the processes that ensure that privacy control is built into our products and policies. I’m proud to have two such strong individuals with so much privacy expertise serving in these roles. – Today’s announcement formalizes our commitment to providing you with control over your privacy and sharing…

      RWW: “Since the settlement, Zuckerberg has penned a blog post outlining the Facebook features that the site has launched, which include friend lists, the ability to review tags before they appear on a profile, mobile versions of privacy controls, amount other notable updates. … According to the Sophos Security Blog, in addition to the privacy audits, if the settlement proceeds, Facebook also must stop misrepresenting its security and privacy policies, obtain consent when handing personal data, establish a stronger privacy program and, perhaps most importantly, prevent people from accessing information from deleted/deactivated accounts 30 days after they have been closed.”

      GigaOM: “Not surprisingly, Facebook appears keen to put the FTC incident in the past. CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday addressed the settlement with a lengthy company blog post in which he noted that it is ‘a similar agreement’ to those the FTC has previously reached with Google and Twitter. He also said Facebook has been proactive in bolstering privacy prior to today’s announced settlement with a number of product updates enacted in the past 18 months.”

      RWW: “On the one hand: As any IT security manager knows, the way to implement privacy control in an organization is not to make the private data available in the first place. Modern information security policies are never about per-instance restrictions to the otherwise free flow of information. The same level of controls can, and perhaps should, be provided for directing flow in the opposite direction. That is to say, share nothing by default, and opt in to services that other users and even apps may request. – On the other hand: Facebook’s responsibility for the protection of data provided by users of their own free will, and without any binding contract other than the implied consent agreement, is somewhat limited. The FTC made clear to cite Facebook for misrepresenting its services from the outset, and that misrepresentation gives the government the leverage it needed to force Facebook to change its policies (even though Zuckerberg implies no such change is necessary now). But had that misrepresentation not existed, the FTC may not have had much ground to stand on. It’s hard to establish a standard of care for property that so many millions of individuals willingly give for free.

      TC: “Zuckerberg Loves That The FTC Wants You To ‘Like’ Them On Facebook – You know what Zuck (and around 400 Facebook employees including PR rep Caryn Marooney) do take lightly, according to this comment thread on a Facebook internal network? The fact that the FTC ironically asks readers to ‘Like’ them on Facebook at the bottom of the release statement outlining today’s Facebook settlement. – My favorite part of this? ‘This would make a great public post.’ Be careful what you wish for.

      Telegraph: “Facebook faces a crackdown on selling users’ secrets to advertisers – The European Commission is planning to stop the way the website ‘eavesdrops’ on its users to gather information about their political opinions, sexuality, religious beliefs – and even their whereabouts. – Using sophisticated software, the firm harvests information from people’s activities on the social networking site – whatever their individual privacy settings – and make it available to advertisers. – However, following concerns over the privacy implications of the practice, a new EC Directive, to be introduced in January, will ban such targeted advertising unless users specifically allow it. … Viviane Reding, the vice president of European Commission, said the Directive would amend current European data protection laws in the light of technological advances and ensure consistency in how offending firms are dealt with across the EU. – ‘I call on service providers – especially social media sites – to be more transparent about how they operate. Users must know what data is collected and further processed (and) for what purposes. Consumers in Europe should see their data strongly protected, regardless of the EU country they live in and regardless of the country in which companies which process their personal data are established.’ … A spokesman for the UK Information Commissioner said: ‘Facebook should ensure that any data it collects should be used in the manner that its users expect. If personal data is being passed on to a third party or used for targeted advertising then this should be made clear to the user when they sign up to the site and reinforced when users are invited to use an application.'”

      SEL: “A new directive by the European Commission may stop advertisers from leveraging users’s information when advertising on Facebook. … The new laws would require that users would need to approve more than the standard 4,000 word contract if their personal information was to be used in ad targeting. … If Facebook does not conform to the new rules laid out by the EC, they could face legal action or a ‘massive fine.’

      VB: “Facebook’s entire business model is under fire in the EU – Facebook (and just about every other free Web service) has built a business on that saying and its implications, and the European Commission is taking the social network to task for it. The EU is considering a ban on Facebook’s practice of selling demographic data to marketers and advertisers without specific permission from users. … Facebook is on track for $4.27 billion in revenue this year, largely due to its wildly successful ad platform. The company also has a full 16.3 percent of the overall share of U.S. online display ad revenue.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 20:35 on 23. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy Controls, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook: Sharing Privacy 

    Facebook follows Diaspora, Google Plus: Making it easier to share with who you want; http://eicker.at/FacebookSharingPrivacy

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 20:36 on 23. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Facebook: “Today we’re announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want. You have told us that ‘who can see this?’ could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward. The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends’) in any context. Here’s what’s coming up, organized around two areas: what shows up on your profile, and what happens when you share something new. … These changes will start to roll out in the coming days. When they reach you, you’ll see a prompt for a tour that walks you through these new features from your homepage. In the meantime, you can read more about the upcoming changes from the links throughout this post. We’ll look forward to your feedback on all of this. – Taken together, we hope these new tools make it easier to share with exactly who you want, and that the resulting experience is a lot clearer and a lot more fun.

      WSJ/ATD: “Facebook Makes Sharing More Granular (Hmm … Where Have We Heard That Pitch Before?) – Facebook isn’t borrowing the greater Google+ anatomy, like ‘Circles’ of friends and a mix of asymmetrical and mutual relationships. – Instead, Facebook is making a huge number of tweaks to its profile design, many of them aimed at addressing common user complaints. – This launch seems likely to ruffle Facebook users’ notoriously sensitive feathers given its little tweaks affect so many parts of the Facebook experience. But at least based on the press briefing, it’s not obvious that any one change will be controversial or dramatic.”

      NYT: “No doubt the company also wants to diminish the possibility of legislation, investigation or litigation stemming from complicated or confusing privacy settings. And with mounting competition from other social networking sites, namely Google+, which emphasizes more compartmentalized communications to different sets of friends and acquaintances, Facebook is also keen to keep its customers’ trust. … Whether users will find the changes more inviting or simpler remains to be seen – as does whether they will opt to be more or less private. Facebook declined to share statistics on its users’ current privacy settings.”

      TC: “So what changed? The obvious answer is Google+. Facebook’s response to my assertion was that Facebook wished it could have built these features in the time since Google+ launched, but that work on these changes actually began around six months ago. Which is probably half true. Facebook knew Google was going to be launching a social network that would try to underscore all of its flaws — note how many of these features are already live on Google+ — so it preemptively started working to fix the things that annoy people about Facebook. – Whatever the case, these are all good changes, and they make Facebook better.

      VB: “The features sound a lot like the features that appear in Google’s latest social network Google+. Rather than sequester the privacy settings on a separate settings page away from the actual action on the site, Facebook is moving its privacy and sharing features straight to the main page. It removes a lot of the hassle of having to jump to different pages to tweak privacy controls.”

      GigaOM: “And although Facebook executives have dismissed Google+ as a non-threat, Facebook has certainly showed a renewed zest in shipping new products and features in the weeks since Google’s social network launched. As my colleague Mathew Ingram wrote recently, ‘It seems clear that the competition is keeping Facebook awake at night — which may be a good thing.‘ As Facebook and Google duke it out for consumer loyalty, they’re both bringing their best efforts to the table as quickly as possible — and the real winners will be the millions of social media users across both platforms.”

      IF: “The changes may reduce the volume of content that is unwittingly overshared, and help users protect themselves from being associated with objectionable content against their will. The end result could be an increase in confidence in Facebook privacy that leads users to be comfortable sharing more, which could in turn increase engagement with the site. … Privacy has been Facebook’s biggest problem to date. A lack of confidence in the site’s privacy settings has scared away new users, frustrated existing users, and kept people from sharing more sensitive content. If Facebook can combine technological and design solutions with reassurance that users are in control of their online presence, it could leave its troubles behind and move towards making users happy rather than preventing them from getting angry.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:54 on 11. January 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Close Friends, , , , , , , , Gree, , , , , Manga-style, Mangas, , Mobage-town, , , , , , Privacy Controls, , , , , , , , , , , Yahoo Japan   

    Facebook: Not Big in Japan 

    60% of US onliners use Facebook, compared to 2% in Japan: real names are an antithesis to privacy; http://eicker.at/JapanPrivacy

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 17:56 on 13. December 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy Controls, Privacy Tools, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Privacy vs. Publicity? 

    Boyd: Neither privacy nor publicity is dead, but technology will continue to make a mess of both; http://eicker.at/Privacy

     
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