Canada privacy office launches new Facebook probe

Jan 27, 2010

(AP) -- Canada's privacy commissioner is once again probing Facebook over the online social network's privacy policies.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada said Wednesday it is investigating a complaint from a Facebook user over changes the company introduced in December.

The announcement came just five months after Facebook agreed to give users more control over the information they share with outside applications such as games and quizzes in response to concerns raised by Canadian privacy officials.

The latest complaints stem from changes Facebook made to give users more granular controls over what information is shared with others, while pushing users to be more open.

The complaint alleges that Facebook's new, "default" settings made more information exposed than the user had previously intended. Facebook insists those settings were merely recommendations.

Elizabeth Denham, the assistant privacy commissioner, said some Facebook users have been disappointed at changes that were supposed to improve protection of their personal information.

, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., said it has not seen the complaint but it is confident that its process last month was "consistent with user expectations, and within the law."

In the U.S., the Electronic Privacy Information Center and nine other organizations have also filed a complaint with the over last month's changes.

Explore further: What safeguards are in Australia's data retention plans?

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