Has Facebook violated its 2011 Federal Trade Commission settlement?

Has Facebook violated its 2011 Federal Trade Commission settlement?: The top six privacy organisations in the US – the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, Patient Privacy Rights, U.S. PIRG, and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse – sent a joint letter to politicians and regulators on Wednesday asking for some of Facebook’s proposed changes to its policies to be blocked.

The letter claims that Facebook’s proposed changes violate a 2011 privacy settlement with the FTC.

Last week Facebook issued proposed changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities as part of an agreement that was made in settlement of a class-action lawsuit.

That settlement, covering the social giant’s routine use of user’s names and images for promoting its Sponsored Stories, saw around 614,000 users of the site receive $15 each in compensation for having their personal information used without their consent.

But the letter from the privacy groups argues that Facebook’s new policy wording is actually weaker than before.

The changes will allow Facebook to routinely use the images and names of Facebook users for commercial advertising without consent.

The old statement said users can use their privacy settings “to limit how your name and profile picture may be associated with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us.”