Twenty Years Of Proposed Audits? Learn From Facebook’S Bout With The FTC….

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Facebook is close to reaching a settlement with the FTC over its concerns about unilateral, retroactive changes to Facebook’s privacy policies.  Although a final settlement has not been reached, it’s been reported that part of the settlement will require Facebook to submit to 20 years of privacy audits, which greatly exceeds the normal 5 year auditing provisions that you see in most FTC settlements.  The takeaway is simple.  If you have a privacy policy, adhere to it. Consumers don’t like to have their information shared in a manner that is contrary to their original understanding as to how such information would be used unless they’ve received adequate notice.  As the U.S. becomes more wired, consumer online privacy issues will become of even greater concern to the FTC.  Learn from how the FTC is attempting to resolve consumers’ privacy-related complaints against Facebook. Otherwise, you may have the government monitoring your business activities for years (or possibly decades) to come.