In his settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that Facebook is required to make all future privacy changes opt-in.
Facebook’s privacy has been confusing to say the least. The social network has been under fire for changing information users set as private to public without warning and still allowing access to photos and videos after users deleted accounts.
The new settlement will require Facebook to get a user’s consent before any information is shared beyond the privacy settings previously established by that him or her. Additionally, the company will have to receive consent before making any changes that override users’ privacy preferences.
Product changes will now have to go through Chief Privacy Officers to make sure updates comply with FTC guidelines. The company will also have to submit privacy audits every two years for the next 20 years.
The settlement poses a challenge for Facebook as the social network will have to figure out a new way to get its user base to opt in to new features and settings. Earlier this year Facebook committed to sending fewer emails, but the lack of a simple code push to update might cause the company to start back up.
It’s unclear if this settlement will have any affect on Facebook app developers. The main challenge is going to be getting users to opt in to changes that could mean more exposure for brands and your Pages.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.