Saturday, May 31, 2008

TECH CHRONICLES / A daily dose of postings from The Chronicle's technology blog (

Canadian grouping impeaches Facebook of invading privacy

Facebook accumulates sensitive information about its users and shares it without their permission, doesn't alert users about how their personal information is being used and doesn't adequately destruct members' information after they deactivate their accounts, a Canadian grouping said.

The University of Ottawa's Canadian Internet Policy and Populace Interest Clinic have filed a ailment with the privateness commissioner of Canada, asking it to look into how it believes Facebook is violating a series of Canadian privateness laws. The commissioner have one twelvemonth to look into the charges.

In a statement, clinic Director Philippa Lawson called Facebook a "minefield of privateness invasion."

A grouping of law school pupils establish 22 violations. They argued, for instance, that Facebook doesn't do clear to users how their personal information might be used, such as as as for advertisement and for programmes created by outside developers, such as horoscope widgets. Facebook also shares unneeded information with outside developers, they said, giving them entree to all of it instead of lone the relevant information to do the programme work.

Setting up a unafraid business relationship is cumbrous and complicated, and many of its little users may not cognize how, the grouping said.

Canada, with more than than 7 million users, have the 3rd biggest Facebook audience.

This isn't the first clip Facebook have come up under fire over privateness concerns. Some of the group's accusals repeat past complaints, including how Facebook shares information with advertizers and partners. In March, the Palo Alto startup rolled out new tools that it said would allow users have got greater control over their privacy, such as as letting only certain groupings of friends see their photographs and other personal information.

In a statement, Facebook said the grouping is misinterpreting Canada's privateness laws and ignoring its privateness policy and architecture.

"We pridefulness ourselves on the industry-leading controls we offer users over their personal information," Facebook said. "We've reviewed the ailment and establish it have serious factual mistakes - most notably its disregard of the fact that almost all Facebook information is willingly shared by users."

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