Are Facebook’s private messages really private? Not so much, according to a lawsuit that accuses the social network of scanning the content of private messages and sharing information about users’ Web activities with advertisers and marketers, Bloomberg reported.
The National Security Agency is still dealing with the fallout from its Prism long-term Internet spying initiative, and the Internal Revenue Service will never win any popularity contests, but according to a recent Reason-Rupe poll, respondents trusted the NSA and the IRS more than Facebook and Google.
Facebook continued its efforts to provide its users with information on government requests for data by joining other industry heavyweights in filing a motion with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in an effort to provide greater transparency.
The changes Facebook announced last week to its data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities have drawn the ire of consumer privacy groups, as six of them sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission Wednesday expressing concerns over the use of users’ personal data in advertising, The New York Times’ Bits blog reported.
The United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea was highly critical of Facebook in a report, saying that the social network refused its requests for information on the accounts of users suspected of involvement in piracy, and Facebook responded that it was under no legal obligation to comply with those requests.
A report last week that Facebook was testing a new type of targeted advertising, along with several third-party partners, which would allow brands to market to users based on items they have previously expressed interest in while surfing the Web was confirmed Wednesday with the social network’s announcement on its Facebook Studio blog of the expansion of its custom audiences offering with data-centric partners Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai.
When you connect with a Facebook application, how often do you pay attention to the fine print of what information the app wants from your profile? MyPermissions has launched a tool that allows users to see what the app wants from your profile, and also lets users delete apps straight from the MyPermissions Cleaner. It wants Facebook users to get a clean and safe start to 2013, also introducing a mobile app.
A Facebook customer-satisfaction survey appears to be making the rounds, but this one sticks to the user experience, and doesn’t detour into politics, like a similar effort that was released in error last month.
Irish eyes (and those of the rest of the European Union) are finally smiling on Facebook, as Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner announced that “the great majority” of the privacy recommendations it made to the social network to keep it in compliance with those of the EU have been “fully implemented to the satisfaction of this office.” The major concession by Facebook: Its tag suggest feature, which enabled facial recognition for Facebook photos, has been turned off for all new users in the EU, with existing users to lose access to the feature by Oct. 15.
Not all Facebook applications are created equal. Secure.me, which is akin to virus protection for pages, recently launched the App Advisor — a report card for more than 500,000 apps on the Facebook platform. On Wednesday, the site will introduce a browser plugin that rates the trustworthiness of an app (or a site that integrates Facebook), based on what kind of personal data it requires.