Facebook privacy policy update may have violated user rights

Facebook Privacy Policy Update

In Facebook’s latest round of privacy policy updates, it might have violated a 2011 court order. That court order required the social networking giant to alert users when their private information would be shared with others and explain more clearly how their data was being used. According to the New York Times, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether or not the most recent changes to Facebook’s policy give the company unprecedented access to user data.

NYT reports that “Facebook’s new policies make clear that users are required to grant the company wide permission to use their personal information in advertising as a condition of using the service.”

Facebook argues that it cleared the policy updates with the FTC before implementing them, and is insistent that Facebook has not been granted any “additional rights” on account of the new policy. Although Facebook’s rules regarding usage of its users’ information to advertise products have been unchanged for quite some time, the language of the policy update raised a few red flags that the FTC could not ignore — namely a provision that states minors are assumed to have been given permission by their parents to have their information used in Facebook ads.

It might not result in any action, but the FTC is currently investigating the legality of Facebook’s proposed policy changes.

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