Facebook To Make Privacy Settings Opt-In, Not Opt-Out
Today Facebook finalized a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it acted in a deceptive manner when changing privacy settings. Now all Facebook privacy settings will be opt-in. The settlement also requires Facebook to obtain 'express affirmative consent' if and when it makes 'material retroactive changes.' Facebook will also have to submit to independent privacy audits for the next 20 years.
The same thing happened to Google last March, when the FTC charged it with 'deceptive privacy practices' after privacy concerns over Google Buzz.
Facebook investigations began in December 2009 after CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared the age of privacy dead. At the time, Facebook made all aspects of a users' profile, including name, photo, city, gender and friends' list public by default. Before the change, users had to manually choose the audience for this data.