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Facebook Settles Privacy Complaint by FTC; Two Lawyers Will Oversee Efforts

Posted Nov 29, 2011 1:46 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Facebook has agreed to submit to privacy audits and to warn users about privacy changes as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

The deal settles an FTC complaint that alleged Facebook deceived consumers by asserting their information would be private, then making it public, according to CNNMoney, the Los Angeles Times' Technology blog and Reuters. Now Facebook will have to give consumers prominent notice of changes and get consent before changing privacy settings. The company will also have to undergo privacy audits every two years for the next 20 years.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says in a blog post that two lawyers will oversee privacy at Facebook. Erin Egan, a former partner at Covington & Burling, will be chief privacy officer for policy. Egan will lead engagement in public discourse and make sure feedback from regulators and legislators is incorporated in Facebook’s policies.

Michael Richter, currently chief privacy counsel for Facebook, will be chief privacy officer for products, improving internal privacy review during product development.

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