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Facebook is accused of missing privacy deadlines

Irish Data Protection people pushed on progress
Wed Apr 04 2012, 17:35

CAMPAIGNERS REPRESENTING THE PRIVACY INTERESTS of Facebook users say that the social networker has failed to meet prescribed deadlines for change.

The campaign group, called Europe v Facebook is trying to take the social web site to task over its policies towards privacy. It was glad when in December the Irish DPA announced the end of an audit of Facebook's privacy practices, but sad when it realised that Facebook has not lived up to the recommendations.

"The report had certain deadlines for each improvement that Facebook pledged to undertake. Many issues should have been solved by the 31st of March 2012. This was [for example] the date where Facebook should have brought its worldwide privacy policy in line with the European law but nothing happened until now," it said in a statement posted to its web site.

There are deadlines in the Irish audit, and we have asked the watchdog whether Facebook has broken them and if so, if it intends to do anything about it. One of the conditions, on page 5 of the PDF suggests that the firm simplify its privacy policies. It did attempt to change these, for example dropping "privacy" out of their title, but postponed this action after an overwhelming response to its propositions.

The Irish DPA has not responded to our questions yet, but Facebook has. "Facebook Ireland is investing a huge amount of effort to ensure we are making progress against all of the commitments we made during the audit. We have a constant dialogue with officials working for the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, who are responsible for overseeing the work we are undertaking, to reassure them of our progress," said a spokesperson.

"We recently reported to them that we have implemented some of their recommendations ahead of schedule and that we expect to meet all the Q1 aspirations over the coming weeks." µ


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