Facebook Satisfies Ireland’s DPC Audit Recommendations


The reaudit report from Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) of Ireland showed that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) satisfactorily complied and fully implemented the recommendations of the commission, to ensure the best practices of user data protection in Europe.

Facebook Satisfies Ireland’s DPC Audit Recommendations

The DPC made recommendations to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) on a number of issues, including its facial recognition features, improvement of its privacy and data use policy, transparency, and limitation in the use of user data for targeted advertising, access requests, enhancement of data retention, information regarding the use of cookies, and social plug-ins, as well as security related to third party apps among others.

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The most interesting part in the report is the social networking giant’s decision to turn off its facial recognition features, called the “Tag Suggest” for existing users, starting October 15. The DPC noted the feature is no longer available for new users in Europe.

Based on the DPC report, one of the issues that remained unchanged, and needs reconfirmation, was the retention of data collected from cookies and social plug-ins. The commission demanded the social networking giant to provide detailed information regarding the consent for the use of data collected from cookies.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) also needs to change its cookie policy and to provide clear information to users regarding its Android app within the next four weeks.

In response to the DPC report, Katherine Tassi, head of data protection for Facebook, said, “FB-I [Facebook-Ireland] is proud of its accomplishments over the last six months and is grateful for the productive engagement with the DPC. We also recognize that the innovative nature of our business will require ongoing and close attention to our data protection obligations. We are devoting and will continue to devote the resources necessary to ensure that we fully meet those obligations.”

Furthermore, she emphasized that Facebook’s data storage and processing structure was highly complex, but the company has “gone above and beyond comparable industry members.”

The DPC launched its investigation against the social networking giant after receiving dozens of complaints from European consumers about its privacy practices. The most vocal critic was Max Schrems, a 24-year old law student from Austria.

Last month, Germany’s Data Protection Commissioner, Johannes Caspar, reopened an investigation against Facebook in connection with its facial recognition technology. The commissioner wants to find out if the company illegally compiled a large database of members photo without their consent.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) acquired Face.com, a facial recognition software company in June, in a move to improve the company’s profitability after its disappointing IPO.

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