Facebook to Throw in Flag on Privacy Opt-In
According a report by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is nearly ready to settle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Apparently, Facebook is ready to throw in the flag and agree to let users of the social network opt-in to its sharing privacy settings. Currently, Facebook's privacy settings are opt-out.
The result of the settlement would be that the default settings for Facebook would be to not share any content submitted to the social network with anyone by default. Facebook users would be required to actively click in a check-box for each particular setting in order to make something public.
In addition, Facebook would agree to submit privacy audits for the next twenty years. These audits are similar to the agreement made by Google when it was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission in March 2011.
The investigation by the Federal Trade Commission began in December 2009. This was when Facebook made universal changes in its privacy settings that led to many Facebook user's personal information and profile pictures being shown publicly.
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the government. It's purpose is to promote consumer protection and to eliminate and prevent harmfully anti-competitive business practices.