EU Data Protection Group to Facebook: Change Your Privacy Policies

The European Union’s Data Protection Working Party isn’t happy with the privacy policies at the social networking site Facebook, and told the company as much in a warning letter.

The organization’s complaints included concerns over the default Facebook privacy settings that leave most of the information users provide open to the public. The group is erging Facebook to change its policy so that user’s profile information is visible only to the people they choose, and to make their information visible to Internet search engines only on request.

Facebook has been criticized recently for its loose policies regarding personal privacy and has been prompted by the media and users to change its default policies so less information is automatically visible on the Internet. The company has also been asked to make its privacy settings easier to understand.

Facebook counters, however, that it’s privacy settings offer granular control that users want, and changing that would make it more difficult to customize preferences.

While on its surface, the Data Protection Party’s letter could seem like a serious issue for Facebook, the organization doesn’t actually have any enforcement authority. The letter does, however, highlight the growing concern over how Facebook handles user’s personal information.