Congress asked to push Facebook probe

May 7, 2010 at 3:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- A number of privacy watchdog groups this week urged Congress to push a federal investigation of Facebook's new privacy policy.

A letter to Congress accuses Facebook of taking "personal information provided by users for a limited purpose" and making it "widely available for commercial purposes."

"The company has done this repeatedly and users are becoming increasingly angry and frustrated," PC Magazine quoted the letter as saying.

The watchdog groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission after Facebook announced a new privacy policy last month, but they say Facebook "continues to manipulate the privacy settings of users," PC Magazine said.

The magazine's report said the groups are especially upset about a new procedure that makes it extremely difficult to opt out of settings that make some personal information publicly linkable.

The watchdog groups included the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumer Task Force for Automotive Issues, Consumer Watchdog, the Foolproof Initiative, Patient Privacy Rights, Privacy Activism, Privacy Journal, the Privacy Rights Clearing House, the United States Bill of Rights Foundation and U.S. PIRG, PC Magazine said.

A similar complaint was filed in December 1999.

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