Facebook agrees to privacy changes

Dec. 21, 2011 at 5:45 PM
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MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Facebook has agreed to improve privacy protections in Europe after an investigation into its practices there, the Irish data protection agency said.

The agreement follows a three-month audit of Facebook's compliance with European Union and Irish data protection requirements, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday

"This was a challenging engagement both for my office and for Facebook Ireland," Irish Data Protection Commissioner Gary David said in a statement. "Arising from the audit, FB-I [Facebook Ireland] has agreed to a wide range of 'best practice' improvements to be implemented over the next six months."

Facebook, the California company whose European headquarters are in Dublin, has agreed to give users more information on how Facebook and third-party apps handle their information, and will minimize how much data is collected on users when they are not logged in to Facebook.

Facebook also agreed to inform European users that Facebook uses facial recognition software that suggests people to "tag" in posted photos.

"The people who use Facebook take privacy and data protection seriously and so do we," Richard Allan, Facebook's director of public policy for Europe, said.

The improved privacy protections will be phased in over six months, the company said.

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