Facebook has privacy gaps: Canadian watchdog

Written by Reuters | Toronto | Updated: Aug 28 2009, 05:46am hrs
A Canadian regulator may outline new proposals on protecting the privacy of Facebook users on Thursday after the watchdog last month found deficiencies in the social networking websites current practices.

The regulators July report found that information provided by Facebook about its privacy practices is often confusing or incomplete. It said its policy of indefinitely keeping personal information about people who have closed their accounts was in breach of Canadian privacy law.

On Thursday, the regulator, known as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, will discuss the outcome of negotiations with Facebook over the past month. The closely held company will hold its own media conference. The final outcome of Canadas investigation could influence the companys practices in other countries. Facebook and any other provider of online social media will have to prioritise privacy to a much greater degree than they have up until now, said technology analyst Carmi Levy. This could mean greater transparency about how such sites gather private information, who they share it with, and what they do with it once a user leaves the site, he said.