Home Knowledge 20 Years of Audits for Former Social Network King

20 Years of Audits for Former Social Network King

May 14, 2012

Myspace has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a deal which will require the company to carry out independent privacy audits for the next two decades.

Myspace, once the largest online social network, had been accused of misrepresenting its privacy policy to users by sharing personal information with advertisers. The FTC charged Myspace with providing advertisers with users’ unique “Friend ID” numbers enabling third parties to obtain personal information about the user and potentially tracking their movement on the web.

Charges that Myspace infringed the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework have also been settled. The Safe Harbor rules impose strict EU-level conditions on US companies wishing to process personal data transferred from the EU. Myspace’s certification was alleged to be misleading by the FTC.

Like Myspace, Google and Facebook have also been subject to privacy investigations by the FTC. Both companies also agreed to similar independent auditing every second year for a 20 year period. The FTC’s recent increase in activity in this area shows that privacy regulation is finally beginning to take hold in the US.

Contributed by John Magee and John Farrell