As part of Facebook’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Facebook has agreed to submit to independent privacy audits every two years for the next 20 years.
This is a pretty big deal – 20 years of supervision for a company that is barely eight years old!
If Facebook violates the terms of this settlement, the social network can be fined $16,000 per day per violation.
The FTC is quite serious, saying Facebook’s privacy changes exposed “potentially sensitive affiliations” such as political views, sexual orientation, business relationships, and similar personal details.
The Wall Street Journal says “Facebook agreed to many of the same terms that Google Inc. agreed to in March when it settled charges that it had deceived users by telling Gmail users that their information would only be used for email, when it was actually used for a social-networking service called Buzz.”
The article also quotes one Facebook skeptic: “How can it possibly result in a change? The very fundamental business model of Facebook is to collect information about you and use it to sell ads.”
The full WSJ article can be accessed here.