Facebook privacy policies in violation of Canadian law

July 17, 2009

(ChattahBox) — An investigation by Canada’s privacy commission found that social networking site Facebook is breaching Canadian law by holding on to deactivated users’ personal information indefinitely.  Facebook allows people to join up and accumulate online friends, photos and “status reports” that are displayed on individual members’ pages.  Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart laid out the findings of the report at a news conference in Ottawa, and gave Facebook 30 days to tighten its procedures.
Facebook’s policy of holding on to subscribers’ personal information, even after their accounts had been deactivated, was one area that breached Canada’s privacy laws, she said. The law requires organizations to retain such information only for as long as it necessary to meet appropriate purposes, she was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying. She accepted that the Palo Alto, California-based Facebook, regarded privacy issues as a top concern “and yet we found serious privacy gaps in the way the site operates”.

Facebook was also criticized for failing to adequately restrict access of users’ personal details to third-party developers  who provide applications, such as games, for the site.  The investigation of Facebook’s policies and practices of sharing information came in response to a complaint a year ago from students at the University of Ottawa.  The European Union, has also expressed similar concerns on Facebook’s privacy policies.  Facebook has said that any improvements made in response to privacy concerns will be applied to it’s operations worldwide. Facebook who now claims to have 250 million users,including about 12 million in Canada, more than one in three of the population.


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2 Responses to “Facebook privacy policies in violation of Canadian law”

  1. Facebook privacy policies in violation of Canadian law … on July 17th, 2009 10:16 am

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  2. Privacy-Law » Privacy < Law in the Yahoo! Directory on July 18th, 2009 1:03 pm

    […] Facebook privacy policies in violation of Canadian law …(ChattahBox) — An investigation by Canada’s privacy commission found that social networking site Facebook is breaching Canadian law by holding on to. […]

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