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Myspace Confesses Failure to Abide by Privacy Laws

05.09.12

Myspace agreed to 20 years of US government oversight of privacy, just like Facebook did in 2011 and Google did in 2010. On May 8, 2012 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a statement about its settlement with Myspace dislosing the following mispresentations which were violations of federal privacy laws :

  • Myspace provided advertisers with the Friend ID of users who were viewing particular pages on the site.
  • Advertisers could use the Friend ID to locate a user’s Myspace profile to obtain personal information publicly available on the profile and, in most instances, the user’s full name.
  • Advertisers also could combine the user’s real name and other personal information with additional information to link broader web-browsing activity to a specific individual.
  • Myspace certified that it complied with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework..., including the requirements that consumers be given notice of how their information will be used and the choice to opt out.

As part of the settlement agreed “... to implement a comprehensive privacy program, and ...regular, independent privacy assessments for the next 20 years.” TheFTC solicits public comments:

The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, ... through June 8, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Interested parties can submit written comments electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the "Invitation To Comment" part of the "Supplementary Information" section. Comments can be filed electronically at this link. Comments in paper form should be mailed or delivered to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

Myspace’s confession is not a big surprise given that Facebook and Google entered into similar agreements in the past 2 years.

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