Facebook Slapped With FTC Complaint From Privacy Watchdog

amid stepped-up criticism of Facebook's privacy settings networking

"More than 100 million people in the United States subscribe to the Facebook service," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which filed the complaint. "The company should not be allowed to turn down the privacy dial on so many American consumers."

The EPIC, an Internet privacy watchdog, said in a statement that it had the support of several organizations -- including the American Library Association, the Center for Digital Democracy and the Consumer Federation of America -- in its complaint with the FTC.

Most of the criticism levied at Facebook lately comes from its default privacy settings, which opens Facebook users' status updates to everyone. In other words, Facebook users have to go in and manually modify their Facebook settings to prevent that from happening.

Rotenberg and the EPIC state in their complaint that the default setting means too much user information is publicly available -- not only to other users but to application developers and sites that can index Facebook updates.

Sponsored post

In a statement last week, Facebook urged its more than 350 million users to review and update their privacy settings, and said it would refine how Facebook points users to change their settings using a "transition tool."

"Facebook is transforming the world's ability to control its information online by empowering more than 350 million people to personalize the audience for each piece of content they share," said Elliot Schrage, vice president of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing for Facebook, in the statement.