Facebook has over 750 million users worldwide, but many of them were not happy when the social networking site decided to make some of a user's details public by default. Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is close to a settlement deal that will allow users to "opt-in" before the company makes any "material retroactive changes" to its privacy regulations.
Facebook first pushed out their new public user profiles back in December 2009 without any prior notice. Users complained that they should have been given the option to agree to the new user profile policies before Facebook made the changes, so the Federal Trade Commission took a look into the matter. The new settlement agreement, which still needs the approval of the FTC, would also require Facebook to be the subject of a privacy audit that will be conducted every year for the next 20 years by an independent party.
This new move by the federal government to look into the privacy policies of social networks comes as more and more of our personal information can be found online via various different organizations and businesses. As a result, people are wondering whether or not those groups have the best intentions. The FTC's proposed settlement with Facebook could be a sign of things to come in this area as the government tries to regulate how much public and private info can be disclosed by certain organizations.