FTC To Monitor MySpace And/Or Empty Space For 20 Years

from the why-you-write-broad-privacy-policies dept

We’ve discussed many times that the main problem with privacy policies is that their very nature encourages companies to actually do less to care about your privacy. That is, the only way a company gets in trouble with their privacy policy is if they don’t obey their own privacy policy. Thus, it’s much smarter to create a privacy policy that effectively says that the company can do whatever it wants and doesn’t have to respect users’ privacy. In that way, it’s much harder to actually violate someone’s privacy. Considering that no one actually reads these privacy policies (and for the few who do, no one understands them) means that it’s even easier to make that work. Still, however, some companies go beyond their own privacy policies, and the FTC has to step in and slap them around. The latest… is MySpace.

Yes, MySpace. That also-ran social networking site that no one uses any more has come to an agreement with the FTC over violating its own privacy policy. Specifically, it appears that MySpace made it possible for advertisers to associate identities with advertisements so that advertisers could build a direct profile of an individual. Of course, it doesn’t appear that anyone actually did this. The settlement means that MySpace will undergo “regular privacy assessments” for the next 20 years. I have two thoughts on this: first, there is almost no chance that MySpace exists in 20 years. Second, I never understand this 20 year deadline on FTC deals. If, miraculously, there is still a MySpace in 2033, it can go back to skimping on its privacy protections?

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Companies: myspace

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Comments on “FTC To Monitor MySpace And/Or Empty Space For 20 Years”

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24 Comments
Mark says:

Re: Re: Re:

Even Tom has moved away from Myspace

By 2010, Anderson was no longer the default “friend” on Myspace, being replaced by a profile called “Today On MySpace” or “T.O.M.”.[19] Anderson said on Facebook in September 2011 that “I left the company in early 2009, and like most of you, I don’t like using it anymore … not a fan of what the new folks have done with MySpace.”[20]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Anderson

Liz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well almost. Geocities was bought up by Yahoo! and put some questionable passages in their updated Terms of Service. Plus with the bandwith limits added and HUGE adspace hijacks, most of Geocities users left the service. Yahoo!Geocities languished for a number of years afterwards. A lot of people went to the next thing – Livejournal!

While Livejournal is still around and in use, I don’t know anyone personally that still uses it. Hardly ever hear about it any longer except in passing memory. A lot of people moved from LJ to MySpace. Then MySpace to Facebook. Now with G+ and Dispora cropping up, who knows what the next social site will be.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think this type of thing is what the government should be poking around in. I do think the government has too much power overall, but I also think they have a place in providing oversight and consumer protection. Joe Citizen doesn’t have the finances or wherewithal to battle corporations like this, and even if we did, we don’t have the power to punish them when they’re guilty. Yes, Myspace is an also-ran, but I still approve of the FTC sticking their nose in this.

As for the 20 years thing, it’s probably just a rollover from offline investigations. Can anyone confirm if the FTC follows up on offline entities for 20 years if found guilty of wrong-doing? What I really want to see is this 20 year chain attached to Specific Media LLC and not just Myspace. That way when Myspace isn’t around 20 years from now and Specific Media buys something else, they will still be under the same scrutiny.

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