Facebook admit mistakes in privacy u-turn

 

By Posted 30 Nov 2011, 11:15

A couple of days ago we told you that some of Facebook’s privacy policies were coming under attack from the EU. Now the site is being accused of invading user privacy in the US, which has led to Facebook actually admit mistakes in a privacy u-turn.

CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has admitted the site made “a bunch of mistakes” regarding privacy, and has promised to change Facebook’s policy. The Telegraph is reporting that all major changes will need an opt-in after the site was criticized. Zuckerberg took to write a rare blog post and said he started the site so people could share and connect with others while having “complete control over who they share with at all times”.

He then went on to say “I am the first to admit that we have made a bunch of mistakes“, and that Facebook’s executives “can always do better“. This comes after the US Federal Trade Commission accused the site of invading the privacy of users on seven different counts. These include when Facebook changes settings that makes more user information visible to the public.

From now on the site will have to get users consent before making changes to their privacy preferences. This basically means that all future privacy control changes users have to opt in for them to take effect, and the site will also need to submit privacy audits every two years for the next twenty years.

It will also need to be clearer on its privacy and security of user data, and prevent access to content on deactivated accounts. New services can be added without users needing to opt in, but they won’t be able to take part without giving consent first.

Zuckerberg cited the Beacon system as a major mistake where it showed users friends their shopping habits, as well as previous alterations to privacy policies. The new proposals from Facebook are to be put to a thirty day consultation period, and are likely to meet the majority of concerns.