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Facebook has been in hot water with Canada over how it protects user data, and the country’s privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, is set to announce at a news conference tomorrow that the company plans to comply with the government’s privacy concerns. Last month, Stoddart said that […]

facebook-logoFacebook has been in hot water with Canada over how it protects user data, and the country’s privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, is set to announce at a news conference tomorrow that the company plans to comply with the government’s privacy concerns. Last month, Stoddart said that the social network breached Canada’s privacy law by holding onto users’ information even after they deactivated their accounts. She also cited concerns with Facebook’s default privacy settings and asked whether the company shares user data with third-party application developers.

This isn’t the first time governments have raised these privacy concerns to Facebook. The UK government last year grilled Facebook on whether or not it stores user data on its computers, even after users deactivate their accounts, and the European Commission in June said it may implement tighter regulations with how web sites share user data with third-party app developers. Facebook recently said it’s testing a series of changes to its privacy settings so users will be better able to control what information they share and with whom.

Facebook also has had run-ins with its users over how it keeps their data private, particularly with Beacon. This summer, people expressed widespread concern on the web over questions of whether Facebook gave user data to third-party ad networks. Though Facebook is nearing its fifth birthday, it seems the social network still hasn’t been able to get its privacy policies right, and regulators will likely crack down on it more in the future.

  1. [...] Jennifer Martinez | Thursday, August 27, 2009 | 8:32 AM PT | 0 comments acebook, as expected, will implement changes to its privacy policies within the next year in order to comply with [...]

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  2. If you would like to see firsthand how much information third-party developers can access – even if it’s your friend, and not you, who uses the app – check out our quiz at http://apps.facebook.com/aclunc_privacy_quiz/ (also linked above). Too few users recognize that their information is vulnerable even if their friends take quizzes – and it’s not yet clear if Facebook’s proposed changes will fully address this issue.

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  3. Want to understand what this all means and how to change your Facebook privacy settings now to better protect your personal information? Check out the ACLU of Northern California Facebook Privacy Quiz at http://apps.facebook.com/aclunc_privacy_quiz/

    More info at our blog at http://www.aclunc.org/techblog.

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  4. [...] to its privacy policies to comply with Canadian law. Though Facebook had gotten into hot water with other governments regarding its privacy policies in the past, the social network was keen on taking the Canadian government’s concerns [...]

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  5. [...] that’s what we do.” Likewise, Facebook stores all user data in its servers, which has previously gotten the social network into trouble. Ning — The company, which lets people create their own social networks, launched an [...]

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  6. [...] network handled users’ information. In August, after discussions with the company, Facebook agreed to modify its site to deal with these [...]

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