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September 23, 2012

Facebook fixes privacy concerns to satisfy Irish watchdog

Facebook has followed only some of the guidelines the DPC set last year and has been told to tighten its privacy guidelines again

By Tineka Smith


A follow-up audit of Facebook’s use of private data reveals that the site has complied with most of the recommendations it was told to implement by the DPC.

"Full implementation has not been achieved but is planned to be achieved by specified deadline," said the Irish data protection authority in a report. The Irish watchdog also pointed out that "ongoing engagement" is necessary as Facebook continues to release new features and innovations.

Ireland’s Office of Data protection initially announced an audit of Facebook’s International HQ in Dublin in October 2011. Complaints had been made about the social networking site holding data that was supposedly deleted by users.

Claims were also made that Facebook was creating "shadow profiles" of people who did not have a Facebook account.
However, personal user data used by Facebook for targeted advertising was found to be legitimate in December 2011.

"We are pleased that following three months of rigorous examination, the DPC report demonstrates how Facebook adheres to European data protection principles and complies with Irish law," announced Facebook at the time.

Facebook was told to be more transparent to its users about its tag feature by displaying additional notifications to users in Europe and offering more information about the feature.

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The Irish DPC said on Friday that it is pleased Facebook has implemented better transparency and increased capability for the user to delete data.

The Irish watchdog also said that the social network has gone beyond what is recommended for some of its features, like its facial recognition tool, which the social network has decided to bring to an end.

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