Law Student Lobbies for Facebook to Come Clean on Privacy

The social media network Facebook is set to release more information on the ways it collects data from millions of its users after an Austrian law student and his lobbying group called for more respect of privacy laws.

After a three-month investigation into its privacy protection, Facebook will overhaul its privacy policies for more than half a billion users outside North America, reports Reuters.

"At a six-hour meeting in Vienna on Monday with the group, Facebook officials pledged more openness, a spokesman for the activists told reporters."

Max Schrems, the leader of the group, is a law student from Vienna. Schrem and his organization have filed 22 complaints against Facebook that center specifically on allegations that the network gathers personal data that users had not authorized or thought they had deleted.

"We have a fixed commitment that we will finally know what Facebook stores in the background, that means a list of all categories of data that are clicked on by users," Schrems said.

A spokeswoman from Facebook said that they had had "a very constructive meeting" with Schrems and a colleague.

She added:

"Facebook is committed to resolving the complaints it has received through the Office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner and this meeting is a helpful part of that process."

And she revealed that they have already started an "extensive program of privacy improvements."

This comes after Facebook unveiled plans to become the biggest-ever Internet IPO, with the company expected to be valued at around $100 billion.

02 9, 2012
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