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Facebook Signs Up Former Bush Regulator To Tackle Privacy Concerns

Social networking website Facebook has hired Tim Muris, the former boss of the Federal Trade Commission and winner of the regulators' lifetime achievement award.

The nomination comes as Facebook is facing increasing scrutiny from the US government, rivals and privacy advocates over its recent mishaps with the latest being that unfortunate bug which allowed private chats to be available publicly, a glitch for it it was thoroughly criticised.

Earlier last month, senior Facebook executives met with Senator Charles Schumer to discuss the implications of the new "Graph" API that allows Facebook to share individual details with third party websites.

Last week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (opens in new tab), EPIC, filed a complaint together with 14 other privacy and consumer protection organisations with the FTC arguing that "Facebook has engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of consumer protection law".

The US-based public interest research center also said that Facebook was guilty of "violating user expectations, diminish user privacy, and contradict Facebook’s own representations" because of changes it made to user profile information.

The Register (opens in new tab) also notes that Facebook has also hired Tim Sparapani, who used to work for the American Council of Civil Liberties.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.