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

all-day 6th Biannual International Surveillance & Society Conference
6th Biannual International Surve…
Apr 24 – Apr 25 all-day
The 6th Biannual International Surveillance & Society conference hosted by the University of Barcelona and supported by the Surveillance Studies Network is currently calling for [...]
all-day IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive 2014
IAPP Europe Data Protection Inte…
Apr 29 – May 1 all-day
The IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive features timely programming centred on the top issues impacting the European data protection community, with a focus on addressing [...]
5:30 pm InSecurity: Race, Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age @ New America Foundation
InSecurity: Race, Surveillance a… @ New America Foundation
Apr 30 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Now more than ever, digital tools sit at a precarious tipping point, and many question whether they will be used to address pre-existing disparities, [...]
all-day Foreign Intelligence Surveillance in an Era of “Big Data” @ Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, George Washington Law School
Foreign Intelligence Surveillanc… @ Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, George Washington Law School
May 2 all-day
Discussions: Panel 1: Why Do We Conduct Foreign Intelligence Surveillance? What Are the Requirements? Panel 2: Making the Trade-Offs Between Surveillance and Civil Liberties Panel [...]
all-day IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2014
IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2014
May 7 – May 9 all-day
The IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium is the leading conference for education, debate and discussion of issues that matter most to Canadian privacy and data protection [...]
all-day Privacy Law Scholars Conference (7th Annual) @ The George Washington School of Law
Privacy Law Scholars Conference … @ The George Washington School of Law
Jun 5 – Jun 6 all-day
  UC Berkeley School of Law and The George Washington University Law School will be holding the seventh annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) on [...]
all-day Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2014 Conference @ Airlie Center
Computers, Freedom, and Privacy … @ Airlie Center
Jun 8 – Jun 10 all-day
Mark your calendars! The 2014 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference will be held June 8-10 at the Airlie Center in Warrenton, Virginia. The Airlie Center [...]
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 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 [...]

View Calendar