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Facebook Privacy In Question: Irish Regulators To Probe 'Frictionless Sharing' And More

First Posted: 09/30/11 09:38 AM ET   Updated: 11/30/11 05:12 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Facebook faces regulatory scrutiny in Ireland, site of its European headquarters, over its handling of personal information, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

The newspaper said the Irish data protection commissioner is to conduct a privacy audit of Facebook's activities outside the United States and Canada after complaints by European and U.S. privacy campaigning groups to the Irish commissioner and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The groups raised concerns over Facebook's "frictionless sharing" of reading, listening and viewing activity as well as the use of cookies to track users' browsing.

The FT reported that Gary Davis, Irish deputy data protection commissioner, said his office would conduct a detailed audit of the group's activities outside the United States and Canada next month.

"This audit will examine the subject matter of the complaint but also will be more extensive and will seek to examine Facebook's compliance more generally with Irish data protection law."

Facebook's European headquarters are in Dublin, which makes its operations outside the United States and Canada subject to Irish and European data protection legislation.

Facebook was unavailable for immediate comment.

(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Gary Hill)

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions

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