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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