Early on, there was the uproar over the advertising program Beacon. "We've made a lot of mistakes building this feature, but we've made even more with how we've handled them," Zuckerberg wrote after backing down.
The company has promised to keep its nose clean and signed off on a settlement with the FTC late in November, requiring Facebook to give “prominent notice” and first obtain consumers' “express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established.” The list of particulars compiled by the FTC goes back to 2009 when Facebook changed the site so that certain information users may have designated as private was made public. Without advance approval. Other highlights from the hit parade include:
Facebook represented that third-party apps that users' installed would have access only to user information that they needed to operate. In fact, the apps could access nearly all of users' personal data -- data the apps didn't need.
Facebook said it complied with the U.S.- EU Safe Harbor Framework governing data transfer between the U.S. and the European Union. Untrue, said the FTC.
Facebook told users they could restrict sharing of data to limited audiences. The reality, according to the FTC: Electing "Friends Only" did not prevent their information from being shared with third-party applications their friends used.
Facebook had a "Verified Apps" program which it claimed certified the security of participating apps. Untrue, said the FTC.
Facebook promised users that it would not share their personal information with advertisers. Untrue, said the FTC.
Despite claiming that photos and videos would be inaccessible after users deactivated or deleted their accounts, Facebook allowed access to the content, according to the FTC.
May 2, 2012 1:17 PM PDT
Photo by: James Martin/CNET
| Caption by: Charles Cooper, James Martin
Conversation powered by Livefyre