Facebook privacy settlement approved, Netflix CEO buys FB shares, and more on this week’s news roundup
Facebook privacy settlement finalized - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said today that Facebook finalized its settlement related to charges that it deceived users when it changed their privacy settings in 2009. The settlement requires the social network to give users notice and allow them to opt in to sharing information beyond their current privacy settings. Facebook agreed to the settlement in November, but there was a public comment period until now. Facebook will also be required to maintain a new privacy program, and have third-party audits every two years for the next 20 years.
Netflix CEO buys $1M in Facebook stock – Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who also sits on Facebook’s board, bought 47,846 shares of the social network’s stock last week at an average price of $21.03. Presumably, Hastings believes the company is worth much more and wanted to pick up more shares while they were low. The stock hasn’t picked up very much since then, closing at $21.81 this week, still well below its $38 IPO price.
Facebook responds to click fraud allegations – In an interview with Forbes, Facebook shared some information about how it deals with click fraud, responding to allegations by one start-up that claimed 80 percent of ad clicks might come from bots. Facebook says it uses historical information and statistical models to identify which accounts may not represent real people and to evaluate click quality. It also monitors user click activity over intervals of time. If the company’s systems detect click activity it suspects is invalid, Facebook says it does not charge for those clicks. The social network apparently asked Limited Run, the company that made the allegations, for data to investigate their claim, but say Limited Run has not provided it.
Facebook employee owns ‘world’s cutest dog’ – AllThingsD discovered that Boo, the well-known “World’s Cutest Dog,” is actually owned by Facebook employee Irene Ahn. The dog, which has nearly 5 million Facebook fans, has been in the spotlight for years without its owner’s identity being revealed.
Facebook urges court to treat Likes as free speech – Facebook filed to support a deputy sheriff who was fired after Liking a Facebook page that his boss didn’t approve of. In 2009 Daniel Ray Carter, Liked the “Jim Adams for Hampton Sheriff” page, which supported his boss’ opponent. The incumbent sheriff fired Carter shortly after he won re-election. The deputy sheriff lost his case, but has appealed the decision. Facebook filed a brief that says a “Like” should be protected symbolic speech like a bumper sticker or a campaign lawn sign, which citizens use to express political opinions.
Hackathon project turns Facebook photos into postcards – Facebook has partnered with Sincerely, makers of Postagram, to allow users to turn their photos into physical postcards and mail them to friends. The “Mail A Postcard” feature was developed at as a Hackathon project and is available to a limited group of users for now.