Released Statement on FTC and Facebook Settlement

Released Statement on FTC and Facebook Settlement

Statement from the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) on U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Facebook Settlement Over Privacy Concerns

WASHINGTON – In response to the FTC settlement with Facebook, the following statement is attributed to Jules Polonetsky, Director and Co-Chair, Future of Privacy Forum:

“Today’s FTC settlement with Facebook sends two strong messages that are relevant for all companies and resonate beyond Facebook.  As in the Google Buzz settlement, if you materially change your practices and expose user information more publically, you need to get express consent.  And if you are a custodian of user data, you need to have a formal program in place that ensures that data use and product development are overseen by privacy staff.  These are guidelines that any company that interacts with consumer data would be wise to consider baseline requirements.

We commend the FTC for protecting consumers, while also recognizing the importance of future data use innovations by including an option for Facebook to seek modification of the settlement of some new form of sharing that is useful to consumers that is now limited by the settlement.  Most of the issues raised in the complaint have been previously addressed by Facebook and relate to changes made in 2009.  Going forward this agreement should strengthen the positions of the Facebook privacy staff by more formally mandating the role they play in the product development process.

Overall, the settlement holds Facebook accountable for some of the early changes in its privacy practices that were the subject of criticism, while leaving it able to continue advancing new services, subject to appropriate notice and user permission.”
To schedule an interview with Jules Polonetsky, call Beth Sullivan at 202.550.4401 or e-mail

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a Washington, DC based think tank that seeks to advance responsible data practices. The forum is led by Internet privacy experts Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf and includes an advisory board comprised of leading figures from industry, academia, law and advocacy groups.

Leave a Reply

Privacy Calendar

8:30 am Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Jan 26 @ 8:30 am – Jan 27 @ 4:15 pm
Learn how those on the leading edge of privacy governance and digital innovation from companies including Cigna, Cisco Systems, eBay Inc. Public Policy Lab, FocusMotion,Ghostery, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Google, HP Enterprise Security Products, JPMorgan[...]
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 – Jan 29 all-day
“Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008, as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. The Day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first[...]
all-day Global Privacy Summit 2015
Global Privacy Summit 2015
Mar 4 – Mar 6 all-day
For more information, click here.
6:00 pm CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
Mar 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Featuring the most influential minds of the tech policy world, CDT’s annual dinner, TechProm, highlights the issues your organization will be facing in the future and provides the networking opportunities that can help you tackle[...]
all-day BCLT Privacy Law Forum
BCLT Privacy Law Forum
Mar 13 all-day
This program will feature leading academics and practitioners discussing the latest developments in privacy law. UC Berkeley Law faculty and conference panelists will discuss cutting-edge scholarship and explore ‘real world’ privacy law problems. Click here[...]
all-day PL&B’s Asia-Pacific Roundtable (...
PL&B’s Asia-Pacific Roundtable (...
May 27 all-day
PROFESSOR GRAHAM GREENLEAF, Asia-Pacific Editor, Privacy Laws & Business International Report, will lead a roundtable on the countries of most interest to business in the Asia-Pacific region. Click here for more information.
all-day PL&B’s 28th Annual International...
PL&B’s 28th Annual International...
Jul 6 – Jul 8 all-day
The Privacy Laws & Business 27th Annual International Conference featured more than 40 speakers and chairs from many countries over 3 intensive days. At the world’s longest running independent international privacy event participants gained professionally by[...]

View Calendar