Facebook should thank FTC

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ought to consider adding members of the Federal Trade Commission to his holiday gift list. They wouldn’t be allowed to accept his gratuities, but he certainly owes them a great big thank-you for the settlement announced last week that will, among other things, require Facebook to “not misrepresent itself” when it comes to what information it collects and how it uses it.

The agreement also requires Facebook to obtain user consent before it makes any changes that override existing privacy preferences and to prevent anyone from accessing user content within 30 days if a user cancels his or her account.

The reason Zuckerberg ought to be thankful is the final part of the agreement, which requires Facebook to obtain “independent, third-party audits” that its privacy program “meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order,” and to “ensure that the privacy of consumers’ information is protected.”

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