Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has agreed to bolster its security practices in response to demands from Irish regulators today. Facebook, like many tech company’s including Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), have European bases in Ireland because of friendly tax and regulatory regimes.
Facebook’s office in Dublin, which employs over 400 people, handles the companies services for all users outside of the United States and Canada. The regulators in the country performed an audit of the company’s privacy practices last year and released a report in December that alleged the firm’s security practices lacked transparency, and were overly complicated.
The regulator will perform another audit of Facebook’s practices in mid July to assess the progress of the upgrades. The news of the agreement with the firm, was reported by Reuters, who sourced Ireland’s deputy Data Protection Commissioner, Gary Davies.
The company is bringing over experts from its operations in the United States in order to smoothly adapt its security procedures to meet the demand of the Irish regulators. Security, and privacy, are extremely important to users of the social network, and the firm is unlikely to skimp on measures to address concerns in order to avoid a public backlash.
In the same report it was revealed that Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) would also undergo an upgrade of its security practices. The firm was recently battered by the loss of hundreds of thousands of users passwords to hackers, seemingly based in Russia.
The deputy commissioner revealed that his office was currently investigating the breach in security that led to that leak. Linkedin has agreed to direct more resources to privacy operations in its Irish offices, and appoint one of its directors to take charge of operations there
Security is of vital importance to social networking firms, as users demand safety when utilizing their services. If a firm lapses in its protection, there can be consequences from users, further problems are perceived as cumulative, and can weaken reputation cumulatively.
The results of Facebook’s endeavour to boost their security operations will likely remain invisible to users. Many of the changes will happen in the background, and will deal with the protection of data in the firm’s servers and backlog infrastructure.
Despite this, firms’ are often slow to move on procedures to improve the protection of user data, forcing regulators to get involved in a much more active way. This is particularly true in Europe, where trans national privacy legislation is much heftier.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has yet to suffer a major blow to user data protection from the outside. Most of the perceived breaches in the company’s protection of user privacy come in the way the company uses that data itself to drive advertising, and other services.
When the results of the second audit are revealed, the firm will be hoping to see a better grading of its privacy efforts. A blow to perceived security could be a blow to the firm’s stock price. As of writing the firm’s shares are down 0.77% to 31.12.