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Changes a'coming after Facebook berated over privacy

Facebook has agreed to work on its privacy policy for users after a three-month investigation by Facebook Ireland resulted in the publication of a 149-page report detailing areas for improvement.

Facebook has agreed to work on its privacy policy for users after a three-month investigation by Facebook Ireland resulted in the publication of a 149-page report detailing areas for improvement.

The report found Facebook generally complied with European law regarding privacy and data protection practices.

However, Facebook needed to make it clear what information was retained about users, and improve users' ability to control what information is shared about them.

Irish Data Protection Commissioner Gary David said Facebook has agreed to improve its privacy policy for users over the next six months. David also said Facebook plans to make it possible for users to permanently delete information.

One of the reasons FB-I started the investigation was due to complaints made from Austrian law student Max Schrems.

Schrems succeeded in getting Facebook to send him a report outlining all of the data the site had on him and was disturbed to find it included information he had deleted.

Facebooke had also kept records that he was unaware of including IP information for any computer he had ever signed in from.

Other reasons included the 60 trademark and defamation complaints received by FB-I each day. These include complaints made about fake profiles, private impersonations and cyber-bullying.

“Several thousand reports are received each day from users,” said the report.

Facebook welcomed the Irish report, responding on its company blog.

“We work on a daily basis with regulators around the world, and we appreciate the investment of time and effort by the DPC and its leadership to improve the experience of Facebook users,” said Facebook director of public policy Richard Allan.

Facebook is facing another formal review in July 2012.