Today a report surfaced in Canada that suggested that Facebook; a social networking website, is breaking privacy laws in regards to personal information being passed onto application developers without user consent. This allegation comes after Facebook recently posted staggering user numbers of around 12 million Canadians alone (over 200 million world wide).
The Canadian Privacy commissioner suggested that the privacy given to users just wasn’t enough and that Facebook’s information distributed to their users about privacy was “often confusing or incomplete”. In addition, she also thinks that users should be given the option to refuse access to personal information that’s currently given to applications.
In order to comply with Canadian privacy law, Facebook must take greater responsibility for the personal information in its care, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said today in announcing the results of an investigation into the popular social networking site’s privacy policies and practices.
“It’s clear that privacy issues are top of mind for Facebook, and yet we found serious privacy gaps in the way the site operates,” says Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.
The investigation also raised significant concerns around the sharing of users’ personal information with third-party developers creating Facebook applications such as games and quizzes. (There are more than 950,000 developers in some 180 countries.) Facebook lacks adequate safeguards to effectively restrict these outside developers from accessing profile information, the investigation found.
I happen to agree with the Jennifer Stoddart when it comes to allowing users to opt out of granting personal access to applications. In addition, which I thought was already done, Is the importance that Facebook deletes personal information immediately after a user terminates their account.
I decided to post this article here because I believe this problem affects all of us morally and politically. Should we be pressuring our governments to provide us with greater safety when it comes to online privacy issues? Where should the line be drawn when it comes to what websites can and cannot do with our personal information? I encourage you to leave your thoughts and opinions below.