Myspace reaches settlement with FTC

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A screenshot of Myspace's homepage on May 8
A screenshot of Myspace's homepage on May 8

Myspace has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company misrepresented its privacy policy to consumers, the FTC said May 8 in a statement. The settlement, according to the FTC, occurred as part of the organization's ongoing effort to ensure that online companies stick to their privacy programs, even as technologies evolve.

“This investigation proceeded as it normally does, with fact finding and drafting a complaint and finding an agreement with the company,” Katherine Race Brin, the lead attorney on the case for the FTC.

Brin succinctly summed up the implication of the finding: “Companies need to abide by the privacy policies they put forth.” Brin said that Google and Facebook have also had similar charges brought against them.

The complaint against Google has been settled. However, Facebook's is still awaiting final approval by the FTC, Brin said.

The charges the FTC brought against Myspace included that although the company promised it would not share personally identifiable information with marketers and advertisers, it did. Brin said she could not disclose when the charges against Myspace were initially filed.

Specific Media, Myspace's parent company since it acquired the social networking site in June 2011, said in a statement it reached the agreement “in order to put any questions regarding Myspace's pre-acquisition advertising practices behind us.” Myspace executives weren't immediately available for comment.

“There is always room for improvement,” Myspace said of its privacy policy in a statement. “That's why one of our first actions after acquiring Myspace was to thoroughly examine the company's business practices and, where applicable, make improvements.”

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