While the social network did not satisfy the letter’s requests to make privacy the default, create a vetting process for app developers and turn on HTTPS automatically, it did come through on the promises it made in an announcement at President Obama’s White House Conference on Bullying Prevention last month. Here’s what’s new:
- Two Factor Authentication: This is a new feature that will be turned off by default. If you turn it on, Facebook will ask you to enter a code anytime you log in from a new device.
- Improved HTTPS: Facebook added HTTPS support in January, which makes it harder for someone on a public WiFi network to hijack your data. Now if you start using a non-HTTPS application while in HTTPS mode, Facebook will automatically switch you back to HTTPS mode when you’re finished.
- Expanded Social Reporting Tool: Facebook’s new social reporting tool brings community members into the mix when dealing with bullying or other violations of Facebook’s terms of service. The features allows users to send a private message to the person who posted the offensive content or — if they want to report the content to Facebook — to include trusted authority figures as contacts in the report. Previously, the feature was only included for photos and wall posts. Now it is available on profiles, pages and groups as well.
- Family Safety Center redesign: Facebook’s safety center got a makeover that highlights the site’s safety philosophy, community, and tools and resources like account settings. As in the previous versions, resources for Parents, Teachers, Teens and Law Enforcement are also highlighted. Facebook wrote on its official blog that it also plans to add a free, downloadable guide for teachers who want to use social media in the classroom. Considering that most schools block Facebook on their computers, we’re curious to see what the guide suggests.
- Facebook Expands Safety & Security Tools (mashable.com)
- Facebook improves safety, security tools; experts not impressed (zdnet.com)
- Facebook – two-factor authentication (twtface.wordpress.com)
- Facebook Adds Two Factor Authentication for Login and Redesigns Family Safety Center (insidefacebook.com)
- Facebook Announces New Safety Features (lockergnome.com)
- Facebook Strengthens Security, Safety Tools (informationweek.com)
- Facebook Launches New Safety and Security Tools (readwriteweb.com)
- Facebook Rolls Out New Safety and Security Features (slashgear.com)
- Facebook Rolls Out Two-Factor Authentication (allfacebook.com)
- Facebook Safety and Security Tools and Resources Launched (webpronews.com)
- Facebook Adds (Optional) Two-Factor Authentication (ghacks.net)
It is now liable for independent reviews of its privacy procedures every two years for the next two decades
protection horror for the company. Now, Google has finally
made peace with the Federal Trade Commission and apologized for the mistakes made with the Buzz service and ensured that the new privacy procedures would protect the interests of users. Too late for it, I suppose, as several users must have already stopped using it.
Privacy Group had filed a complaint with the FTC accusing Google for following ‘deceptive privacy practices’. The FTC stated that Google has violated the FTC Act by not informing the users about the privacy measures and didn’t offer them an option to decline or leave the social network service. Also, Google failed to obtain user’s permission to enable Buzz social network in advance.
Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC, said in the release: “This is a tough settlement that ensures that Google will honor its commitments to consumers and build strong privacy protections into all of its operations.”
Alma Whitten, Direct of Privacy (Product & Engineering) with Google, stated on its official blog:
Today, we’ve reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns. We’ll receive an independent review of our privacy procedures once every two years, and we’ll ask users to give us affirmative consent before we change how we share their personal information.
Google will implement a new privacy program and will also be liable for independent reviews of the privacy procedures every two years for the next two decades. WHOA! That’s a big one. So basically, Google goofed up over privacy, accepted its mistake and is now moving on.
- Google Settles With FTC Over Privacy Concerns and “Deceptive Tactics” of Google Buzz (fastcompany.com)
- Google Buzz Agreement Reached With FTC (webpronews.com)
- What the Google Buzz-FTC Settlement Means for the “Apology Approach” to Innovation (fastcompany.com)
- Google settles FTC complaint over Buzz (macworld.com)
- Social Irony: FTC Rules on Buzz Privacy Stampede (marketingpilgrim.com)
- Google settles Buzz privacy case with FTC, apologizes (downloadsquad.switched.com)
- Google settles FTC complaint over Buzz (infoworld.com)
- FTC To Audit Google Regularly Following Buzz Investigation (inquisitr.com)
- Google Settles FTC Complaint over Google Buzz Privacy (pcworld.com)
- Google apologises for Buzz privacy issues (nakedsecurity.sophos.com)
Nearly half of all 12-year-olds in U.S. are using social network sites, despite not meeting the minimum age requirements for sites like Facebook; a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project claims.
The report also indicates that 46 percent of 12-year-olds in U.S. use social networks, and 62 percent of 13-year-olds in the study use social networks, that figure jumps to 82 percent between the ages of 14 to 17.
Facebook’s chief privacy adviser Mozelle Thompson agreed that underage users were taking advantage of the site. This issue is due to the fact that any user can register by simply lying while signing up since most of the big networking sites had have no mechanisms to detect whether the user is telling the truth or not. “It’s not perfect,” said Thompson.
“There are people who lie. There are people who are under 13 [accessing Facebook],” Thompson said. “Facebook removes 20,000 people a day, people who are underage.” Now, that’s just a fraction of its 600 million strong user base that Facebook has.
Facebook has set up a Facebook Public Policy and Online Safety team that looks to identify false information by users’ false, but verifying a person’s age seems close to impossible. A member of the team tells the News Observer that parent participation is really the key to the problem of underage users on the site. But what if the parents aren’t opposed to their children being on Facebook? Talking about safe Internet practices with kids might be the next best responsible thing to do, along with monitoring your child’s online activity.
But I believe it’s the parents who should own up the responsibility for what their children do on the Internet. I could give many analogies to put my point across, but I believe people are smart enough to understand the seriousness of this issue. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than 50 percent of underage kids from India [who have Internet access] are more active than most adults on Facebook.
How many parents even know that users need to be 13-and above to own a legitimate Facebook account? Will you do something to stop this scenario or just turn a deaf ear to it? Leave us a comment and let us know.
- Facebook Bans 20,000 Underage Users A Day (allfacebook.com)
- Facebook Booting “20,000” Underage Users Per Day: Reaction to Growing Privacy Concerns? (fastcompany.com)
- Facebook booting ‘20,000’ underage users per day (cnn.com)
- Facebook Kicks Off 20,000 Underage Users Every Day (newsfeed.time.com)
- Facebook Grows Up: 20,000 Underage Users Booted Daily (newsfeed.time.com)
- Facebook boots 20,000 users per day, some for being underage. (blueorbit.wordpress.com)
- Facebook bans 20,000 underage users a day (news.bioscholar.com)
- One exclusive club? (konnorschmaltz.wordpress.com)
- Facebook bans 20,000 underage users a day, to hire cybersafety experts (thenextweb.com)
- News Flash: Facebook is deleting accounts of 20,000 underage and teen users per day! (radicalparenting.com)
However, there is still a grey area in how Facebook defines “your information”, which Nicole Ozer, a policy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, contends does not include user data like the IP addresses, triangulated location of a mobile phone, and the date and time stamp of the uploaded photographs. Despite the downers and ambiguity of the definition of user information, this is a step in the right direction. It’s not often that a big corporation simplifies the legalese and keeps the users in the loop before making a decision.
- More on Facebook Privacy (mediatechparenting.net)