London, Dec 22: Social networking giant Facebook has agreed to tighten its privacy practices and delete unneeded data sooner after an investigation by Irish regulators.
Following an audit of Facebook’s systems, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, said the firm had agreed to more than a dozen privacy improvements, to be completed within six months, The Telegraph reports.
Irish regulators, however, found that while it does collect data about non-users for security purposes, Facebook does not otherwise use it and does not create shadow profiles.
“While certain data which could be used to build what we have seen termed as a ‘shadow profile’ of a non-user was received by Facebook, no actual use of this nature was made of such data,” their report said.
Irish regulators also investigated Facebook’s use of facial recognition technology, which encourages users to identify, or “tag”, friends in photographs.
They found fault in the way it was introduced, but said it did not breach data protection law. The feature was switched on without notice in June, prompting criticism from privacy advocates.
“Facebook should have handled the implementation of this feature in a more appropriate manner and we recommended that it take additional steps from a best practice perspective to ensure the consent collected from users for this feature can be relied upon,” the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s report said.
According to the paper, Facebook has agreed to provide users with more notifications about facial recognition to give them the opportunity to opt out, as part of changes that will mean more privacy alerts across the website.
It will also make it easier for users to find out what data Facebook holds about them, introduce clearer terms and conditions and a better mechanism for users to give consent for their personal data to be used by third-party apps, and give users more control over whether they are added to groups by friends. (ANI)