Over a period of time, Facebook has had to deal with a lot of problems regarding user privacy, and on Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) laid out specific rules for Facebook to follow in this regard.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that Facebook has made mistakes with regards to user privacy, in the past, but he also pointed out that they have been learning from these mistakes and correcting them.
One of the most important messages that the FTC has passed on is regarding standardization of the practice of opt-in. So far most social networks have been following the reverse practice of opt-out.
According to the opt-out practice, companies can approach all clients who have not opted-out of a particular feature. Now they will be allowed to approach only those users who have specifically opted-in for that feature.
Media analysts have remarked that this rule is not likely to adversely affect marketers as most users opt-in for all features any way.
The network will also have to be more transparent in letting users know, who can see their information.
Mark Zuckerberg says that in spite of the fact that they have made mistakes in this regard, they are very particular about this issue. He says, “Facebook has always been committed to being transparent about the information you have stored with us – and we have led the internet in building tools to give people the ability to see and control what they share.”
He has clarified that Facebook has already set right, over the last couple of years, some of the complaints that the FTC has asked them to deal with.
Facebook has also appointed two new corporate officers to make sure that user privacy is protected more thoroughly.
In effect, it looks as though Facebook wants to appear to follow the FTC suggestions not only in letter but also in spirit. It is also likely that these suggestions of the FTC will have to be followed by all other social networks as well.