Myspace Settles FTC Privacy Charges

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Myspace agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misrepresented its privacy policy to users whose personal information was shared with advertisers.
     Under the proposed settlement Myspace agrees to develop a new privacy policy to protect users’ personal information and to have compliance with the policy audited by an outside party every two years for the next 20 years.
     The FTC charged that during 2009 and 2010 Myspace allowed advertising servers Fox Audience Network and Rubicon Project Inc. to decrypt Myspace users’ Friend ID, age and gender to target ads. The FTC said advertisers could use this information to access users’ personal profile which included their full names and other personal information which could be used to link broader web-browsing activity to individual users.
     Myspace’s privacy policy explicitly said that it would not share users’ personally identifiable information in such a way that would real their identity to third-parties. It also says that it would not share any non-anonymized browsing activity.
     The FTC also charged that Myspace was not in compliance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework for the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the U.S. as the company had claimed.
     Under the framework MySpace was obligated to tell consumers how their data would be used the choice to opt out, which the FTC said it did not do.
     If the FTC decides Myspace has violated the settlement agreement it can immediately impose fines on the company.
     The public has until June 8 to comment on proposed settlement order.

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