OTTAWA, CANADA:Facebook has agreed to add significant new privacy safeguards and make other changes in response to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's recent investigation into the popular social networking site's privacy policies and practices.
The company's decision to implement the Privacy Commissioner's recommendations is a positive step towards bringing Facebook in line with the requirements of Canada's privacy law.
"These changes mean that the privacy of 200 million Facebook users in Canada and around the world will be far better protected," says Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.
"This is extremely important. People will be able to enjoy the benefits of social networking without giving up control of their personal information. We're very pleased Facebook has been responsive to our recommendations."
Last month, the Privacy Commissioner issued a report on an in-depth investigation triggered by a complaint from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.
While Facebook took some steps to resolve privacy concerns, the Commissioner remained dissatisfied by Facebook's response at the end of the investigation. She was particularly concerned about the risks posed by the over-sharing of personal information with third-party developers of Facebook applications such as games and quizzes.
Facebook was given 30 days to respond to the Commissioner's report and explain how it would address the outstanding concerns. Following a review of Facebook's formal response and discussions with company officials, the Commissioner is now satisfied Facebook is on the right path to addressing the privacy gaps on its site.
"Facebook is promising to make significant technological changes to address the issue we felt was the biggest risk for users - the relatively free flow of personal information to more than one million application developers around the world," says Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who led the investigation on behalf of the Office.