Friday, August 28, 2009

VERITAS: TOUCHDOWN - PRIVACY COMMISSIONER COMES OUT ON TOP IN FACEBOOK FRACAS


Guest item compiled by Sean McDonald
Facebook has announced that it will comply with requests made by Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, to better safeguard the privacy of Facebook users. Facebook has committed to reviewing and better articulating its privacy policy over the next month and to ‘retrofit’ its platform over the next year, giving Facebook users the ability to pick and choose what information they want to share with both the Facebook platform and applications operating on it. Score a huge win for the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa who submitted the original complaint instigating the review. Changes made to Facebook will benefit all 200+ million users of Facebook around the world, not just Canadians. Both the Privacy Commissioner and Facebook positioned the changes as a collaborative effort to better serve Facebook users. Savvy Facebook users have long complained about privacy breaches and have questioned why it took a review by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner to make these changes, when they had been frequently requested. Despite the apparent collaborative exercise, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner is the people’s choice winner in all of this. Consumers have long questioned the safety of their personal information and why Facebook should have the right to retain it as they have. Infrequently acknowledged by Facebook before, user concerns have been heard and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is being thanked by Facebook users around the world.

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