Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Facebook, Inc., FTC File No. 0923184
Once again, the FTC has missed an opportunity to sanction a company effectively in lieu of expediency. Facebook's practices over the years have been eggregious and unrelenting. As far as Facebook is concerned (as previously with Google), this is merely a cost of doing business as the owner and employees cash-out in an upcoming public offering of stock, and will not really do anything to enhance privacy for Facebook users, or the general public. A meaningful settlement would include specific restrictions and requirements on Facebook's use of personal information without specific user consent (opt-in), as well as establishing a private course of action for people should Facebook violate their privacy, not just leave Facebook subject to the whims of a possible future FTC enforcement action (which would be subject to the political makeup of the FTC Commissioners at that time). I also believe that this settlement does NOTHING to prevent Facebook from continuing its practice of tracking people across the Internet, either people who do not have Facebook accounts, or people who do and who have logged out of those accounts. As further punishment for its transgressions, Facebook should be prohibited from tracking and collecting data on ANYONE (even logged in users) on any sites other than its own, and specifically prohibited from sharing any such information collected for any purpose with anyone excepted for logged in users, and again, only with their explicit connect, and not just vague terms of service that automatically imply consent.