Myspace Settles FTC Privacy ComplaintNow faded social network must tell the truth about how it handles
personal information and undergo privacy audits for the next two
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Myspace on Tuesday settled charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission that it made false promises about protecting user data.
Myspace violated those promises, according to the FTC. The company provided third-party advertisers with users' Friend IDs, which are account numbers linked to basic personal information. In so doing, the company enabled advertisers to create profiles linked to individual identities.
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Regardless, advertisers didn't need to create Myspace user profiles because Myspace provided assistance with the delivery of personally targeted ads.
From January 2009 through June 2010--a year before the social network was sold for $35 million to Specific Media and celebrity Justin Timberlake--most of the ads displayed on Myspace were delivered via the Fox Audience Network (FAN), an ad network affiliated with Myspace.
The settlement requires that Myspace cease misrepresenting its privacy promises. It also requires that Myspace set up a privacy program to protect users' information and to submit to independent third-party privacy audits every two years for the next 20 years.
Myspace might want to work on scheduling a site visit immediately: With Facebook, Google, and Twitter, among others, already under FTC orders to submit to biennial privacy audits, finding an available privacy inspector could be something of a challenge.
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