The Federal Trade Commission has all but signed on the dotted line in a settlement regarding Facebook's privacy settings. In late 2009, Facebook changed users' default settings to public for name, picture, city, gender, and friends list. Privacy advocates cried foul and asked the FTC to investigate.
Under the terms being discussed, the agreement would require Facebook to submit to independent privacy audits for 20 years, the people familiar with the matter said.
This ruling is similar to the one handed to Google over privacy concerns with Buzz. The difference is that Google just announced that it's shutting down Buzz, so there won't be much to monitor. With Facebook's 800,000 million plus users, there's going to be a whole lot more to look at.
Excerpt from the play "FTC Social Network Monitoring Guys"
(Friday afternoon at the office. 3:00 p.m.)
GOOGLE GUY: Well, I'm gonna head out early. The wife and I are taking the kids to the Poconos this weekend. I might be in a little late on Monday too, but I'll, you know, "monitor" the action remotely. Have a good weekend.
FACEBOOK GUY: (perspiring, pale and shaking from too much coffee) Yeah, ok. Tell the missus "hello" for me. I might take a few minutes to run to the vending machine for a Chick-O-Stick and Mountain Dew, but I have a little bit of a backlog to catch up on. I guess I'll see you Monday.