This privacy case has been ongoing for the past two years and the outcome could radically change the way Internet companies manage user information.
You might remember hearing when the FTC launched an investigation regarding the “deceptive trade practice” engaged in by Facebook when they allegedly changed, without consent, users’ default privacy settings that made public personal information which was previously restricted. (Your birth date and other personal stuff).
Facebook has now over 800 million users and the settlement would give them (us) more control and visibility over who has access to the information posted on their personal space.
Those in the know believe that the agreement mirrors a recent privacy agreement between Google and the FTC over their Buzz social network that required Google to submit to independent privacy reviews over the next 20 years.
There’s an Initial Public offering (IPO) from Facebook expected in 2012 and, according to the article by Mike Swift in Mercury News, Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington, believes the case will depress the IPO price. I don’t agree with this statement, but I do agree that Facebook has a very big incentive to reach an agreement.
If you’d like to read the article, click on Mercury News.
Here too is a link to Digital Trends that gives instruction on how to set your Facebook Privacy Settings.