Dec 092011
 
 December 9, 2011  Business

 “We live in an age of information, which requires careful protection of our privacy,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  “In the recently announced settlement reached by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with Facebook, the FTC outlined a number of incidents since 2009 where consumers were mislead about the treatment of their personal information.”  Stearns is a leader in Congress on the privacy issue and has offered privacy legislation and data protection legislation.  Stearns was joined by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Chairman Emeritus of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus; and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Co-Chairman of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus.

In a letter sent yesterday to Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, they refer to these deceptive practices that “included, among others, making certain information public despite privacy setting, allowing third party applications broad access to user information, sharing user information with advertisers, permitting access to user information after such account was deactivated or deleted, and changing default privacy settings without first providing notice to consumers.”

“The Committee continues to examine various privacy issues, both online and offline,” added Stearns.  “With more than 800 million active users and untold number of nonusers visiting Facebook or partnering websites every day, we need to understand the privacy principles of Facebook.”

The letter seeks information on Facebook’s privacy policy statement, information collection practices, the consumer’s ability to opt-out of these collection practices, how the company utilizes archived information, and details on Facebook’s decision to launch its latest “Timeline” feature.   Noting that Facebook’s 2010 privacy policy exceeded the length of the U.S. Constitution, without amendments, the legislators also asked Facebook to provide “all data” indicating what percentage of Facebook users actually read the full policy.

Responses to the questions are requested no later than January 3, 2012.

Source:  Representative Cliff Stearns

 

h/t, WOKV

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