Myspace Settles FTC Charges That It Misled Millions of Users
The social networking site Myspace has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misrepresented how it shared users’ information with advertisers.
Like other social networking sites, Myspace allows users to create and customize personal online profiles. To register, people have to give their full name, email address, birth date, and gender. Myspace also collects optional info, like a user’s picture, relationship status, sexual orientation, hobbies, etc. Myspace assigns a unique identifier – called a Friend ID – to each profile that’s created. According to the FTC, Myspace’s default settings made users’ full names publicly available via the Friend ID. People had to override that default if they wanted to hide their full names.
But the FTC’s complaint alleges that those promises didn’t square with what was actually happening on the site.
To settle these charges, Myspace has agreed to regular privacy assessments by independent auditors for the next 20 years.