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Geocities cuts FTC deal on privacy violation claim

Not that it did anything wrong anyway, says the company...

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Community-based Web operation Geocities has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which had been investigating the operation over alleged privacy violations. Under the settlement Geocities seems to have agreed to stop telling its subscribers that it won't disclose personal information about them, while at the same time the company is continuing to deny it did anything wrong. The FTC had claimed that Geocities had been telling lies when it said it didn't disclose personal information. Geocities has meanwhile published a new personal privacy programme which doesn't include any such guarantees, but prohibits "inappropriate third-party collection and use of personal information." According to the FTC the company had engaged in "deceptive practices" by gathering data on games played on its site by children, then passing this over to third parties. Geocities, which went public a few days ago, uses a community-based model for its site and is highly popular with children.

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