Facebook forced to updated privacy policy

Facebook has agreed to comply with the Canadian Privacy Commissioner's office and adjust their third-party application policy. This adjustment in policy will require each developer to specify which fields of user data they will be accessing, from birth dates, favourite music, geographic location and more.

The current practice for third-party applications on Facebook is that it allows access to user's data, sometimes without the user knowing, and they can gather information from friends' profiles. This leads to privacy concerns in Canada becasue they are keeping a user's personal information and storing it in a database without the user knowing exactly what was gathered, even after their account had been deactivated.

The new policy will make changes to prompt users on what data they would allow to be gathered, possibly making it harder for many developers who require data only once for certain applications. The upcoming changes will add new privacy controls to user's profiles and they will also be revamping the current privacy system to simplify what data will be allowed to be shared and gathered.

Facebook said it will take up to 12 months to implement these changes across its web site; Facebook currently has 250 million registered users, 12 million of which are Canadian.

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18 Comments

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You really have to wonder if Facebook wasn't the brainchild of the FBI, CIA, Interpol or some other organization looking for ways to investigate people. Consider what they would have access to - all your friends, personal pictures, interests, emails you've sent/received through the system, sometimes (with updates) a view into your average day, and if you've got Facebook on a mobile device, your whereabouts (cause I'm sure it chats back and forth with the system providing location coordinates).

How many times a week do these 'spy' organizations ask for personal info from the Facebook people do ya think? I would hazard a guess they've probably got direct access. And are they required to let anyone know they're looking into your data? I'm Canadian, so if some CIA cowboy is pouring over my FB account right now ... shouldn't I be informed? Or do I sign all of those rights away?

This is definitely a good thing and I hope it's rolled out for not just Canadian users. I never understood why people install random applications on Facebook without knowing which specific bits of information it's going to use (and then potentially market).

Some of those random app install WIHTOUT the user knowing it. Especially apps on those socially diseased websites such as Facebook, MySpace, etc.

What I've never understood is how people can actually stand those sites?

Its bull**** that someone on my friend's list can install an app, and that app has access to MY information. This should not be allowed.

It is more in regards to reading what you posted, or what your friends posted. These applications would have full range of your blocked profile, if your privacy is normally set to friends only.

These applications will no longer be able to take information from you if you set the privacy settings for third party in your profile (once there is an update)

Shadrack said,
Its bull**** that someone on my friend's list can install an app, and that app has access to MY information. This should not be allowed.

I'm not quite with you - If you are their friend then they have access to all yout info anyway?

Max said,
I'm not quite with you - If you are their friend then they have access to all yout info anyway?

My friends have access to my info but it's fine since they are friends, and they are supposedly not going to make a bad use of it.
If a company gathers MY info through a friend, than that's certainly something I would never allow.

Max� said,
I'm not quite with you - If you are their friend then they have access to all yout info anyway?

A Facebook App that one of my friends installs has access to everything on Facebook that they have access to, including all of my information.

This wouldn't be a problem if the people on my friend's list all knew and understood the ramification of installing Zombie Hunter app (or whatever bull**** app they install because they are bored at work). Its not like they willingly hand over my information to a 3rd party...more like they a duped into it by the whole app system on Facebook.

I see nothing wrong, if a company wants to operation in another country, it has to abid by it's laws.
And knowing exactly how there 3rd party vender's use info is not a bad thing.

12M Canadians? That is a little less than half the population up here ... LOL. I guess people are bored these days.

TheNay said,
A lot of people have the net in Canada at home, work, cellphone, library, so it doesn't surprise me really :)

agreed
when you meet someone here who DOESNT have FB theres always expressions of shock by everyone in the room