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Facebook Bows to Canada Over Privacy Concerns

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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.

6 Responses to “Facebook Bows to Canada Over Privacy Concerns”

  1. 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 (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.