Friday, 28 August 2009

Facebook amends privacy policy

Facebook, the market-leading social networking site, has been forced to change its global privacy policy following negotiations with the privacy commissioner in Canada. A report by the BBC says that Facebook was recently found to breach Canadian law by holding on to users' personal data indefinitely and has therefore agreed to make changes to the way it handles this information and be more transparent about what data it collects and why.

The other main stumbling block that has been an issue for some time has been the inability for users to deactivate or delete their account, but this is now being changed so that it will be possible in the future. The decision could also have implications for other social networking websites.

As well as updating their privacy policy, Facebook has said it will make changes that will give users more control over the data they provide to third-party developers of applications, such as games and quizzes. These changes will require applications to state which information they wish to access and obtain consent from the user before it is used or shared.

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