Facebook, FTC reach settlement in privacy dispute

Social network agrees to 20 years of audits

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The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Facebook's violation of its users' privacy for nearly three years.

Today, an agreement was reached between the FTC and the social network, which requires Facebook to obtain "expressed consent" and give any user "clear and prominent notice" when any private information is shared.

In addition to Facebook having to get permission to share private information, Mark Zuckerberg's company also agreed to pay fines upwards of $16,000 for every violation.

The deep look into Facebook's privacy problems began in 2009, when it was discovered the company was divulging the private information of users who had opted out of sharing.

Facebook agrees to 20 years of audits

As per the agreement, Facebook will have to implement and track a "comprehensive privacy program," which will be subject to inspection every two years.

A third party will audit the records of this program for the next 20 years.

However, by agreeing to the FTC's deal, Facebook exonerates itself from ever having to admit fault in any of the allegations previously levied against it.

In closing, the FTC stated, "We intend to monitor closely Facebook's compliance with the order, and will not hesitate to seek civil penalties for any violations."

This latest result comes in the wake of Thursday's news of Google paying a $22.5 million fine to the FTC for misrepresenting its ad tracking.

Via SlashGear, The Verge