Facebook tightens privacy after friendly warning from Germany
Unsolicited email gets a little tougher in Hamburg, if not world
Facebook will tighten up privacy in its "Friend Finder" feature, following demands from German data protection watchdogs.
A deal was struck with German data protection officials in Hamburg yesterday, after Facebook was hit with a privacy storm over unsolicited emailed invites it sent to individuals who hadn't signed up to the dominant social network.
Germany's Data Protection Authority said it agreed with Facebook to divvy up more control over their users' email address books.
The company will encrypt email addresses of those people who opt out of appearing in Facebook's directory.
"We hope to carry out the deal fast and we will follow it closely," said a spokesman at the DPA.
The move is the latest in a series of online privacy gaps being filled by regulators in Germany, which has also clamped down on Google's lax methods of protecting some of its users' data. ®
... Facebook could also stop lying about claiming that "These friends of yours have found other friends".
One of my friends has an FB account which, after setting it up, he's never used, yet somehow I keep getting told that he's used their "Friend Finder" and so should I...
Only applies to Germany?
I'd like to know if this applies outside Germany. US politicians and federal agencies run by political appointees are too in the pocket of money-grubbing corporations to actually make any effective noise about this sort of thing here.
It's not just what you tell Facebook...
...it's what others tell Facebook *about* you. How can you "opt out" if you have no account, but someone else pokes your email address or other identifying info into some Facebook app (e.g. Friend Finder)? But then this isn't unique to Facebook - you'd be as compromised, or more, if they posted your details in their blog, on twitter, etc.
Some responsibility for privacy has to rest with users - for both maintaining their own privacy, and that of others.