Myspace assigns a unique identifier (a "Friend ID") to
each consumer profile. The profile can contain all sorts of
personally identifiable information about a user, such as that
user's full name, age, picture, interests, friends, etc..
users' personally identifiable information, or use such
information in a way that was inconsistent with the purpose for
which it was submitted," without giving notice, and getting
permission from users.
Nonetheless, Myspace provided advertisers the Friend IDs, which
advertisers could then match up with users' profiles to serve
targeted behavioral ads and track user activity. The FTC thus
Myspace will be barred from future privacy misrepresentations,
must implement and maintain a comprehensive privacy program, and
must provide periodic independent privacy assessments for 20 years.
Notably, Myspace will not pay any penalty.
The settlement is a reminder that privacy concerns are at the
forefront of the FTC's "to do" list, and that privacy
policies actually do matter. Just in the last year, the FTC has
agreed to privacy-related settlements with Twitter, Google and
Facebook, so even the big players are not exempt from scrutiny.
Further, while many entities jump to the question of whether their
privacy practices are legal, the preliminary question may be
whether their privacy practices adhere to what they have already
promised in their privacy policies.
This alert provides general coverage of its subject area. We
provide it with the understanding that Frankfurt Kurnit Klein &
Selz is not engaged herein in rendering legal advice, and shall not
be liable for any damages resulting from any error, inaccuracy, or
omission. Our attorneys practice law only in jurisdictions in which
they are properly authorized to do so. We do not seek to represent
clients in other jurisdictions.
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