Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Privacy Commissioner v Facebook: Next chapter imminent

You may recall that last year, following a high-profile complaint made against Facebook by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada gave Facebook a year to get its house in order. In particular, the social networking site told the Commissioner that it would take about a year to address issues regarding third party applications on the Facebook platform and the handling of accounts of deceased users.

A year has passed and the media are reporting that there may be a showdown brewing. It is suggested that if the Commissioner is not satisfied with what Facebook is doing today, it's off to court: Privacy czar set to hand down Facebook ruling.

I'm not sure it's as dire as that, but it will be interesting to see what transpires in the coming days.

It should also be borne in mind that the Commissioner is an ombuds(wo)man. If she goes to court, it's a de novo hearing, so the matter starts all over at the very beginning. Factoring in "Internet time", what Facebook was doing a year ago seems like pre-history.

Update: CIPPIC says that Facebook still falls short of its Canadian obligations, according to an article at

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