The federal privacy commissioner has launched an investigation into Facebook after University of Ottawa law students complained the site breaches Canadian law by disclosing personal information to advertisers without obtaining proper consent.
The students, some who are dedicated Facebook users, allege in a complaint lodged Friday that the popular social networking website has committed 22 violations of the law. "There's definitely some significant shortcomings with Facebook's privacy settings and with their ability to protect users," said Harley Finkelstein, 24, one of the four students behind the complaint.
"If a 14-year-old kid in Toronto decides to join Facebook, and is prompted to add a network, and he decides to join the Toronto network - because that's where he lives - does he really know that everyone on that network - by default - will have access to his personal information?" The students drew up the complaint after comparing the company's policies and practices to Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).