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Myspace, FTC Settlement Reached After Privacy Probe

AP  |  Posted: 05/08/2012 4:19 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Myspace, the once mighty social network, settled a privacy investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and agreed to submit to privacy audits over the next 20 years.

The settlement, over charges that Myspace misrepresented its privacy policies to users, is similar to a deal the FTC struck with Facebook in November.

The FTC said Tuesday that despite telling users it would not share personally identifiable information with others, Myspace gave advertisers users' "Friend ID" numbers. That allowed advertisers to find users' publicly available personal information, often including full names, and could even lead advertisers to discover users' web-browsing activity.

In the settlement, Myspace agreed not to misrepresent its privacy policies, to implement a comprehensive privacy program and to submit to regular, independent privacy assessments for two decades.

Myspace, launched in 2003, was a popular Internet destination for years. But the social network was left in the dust by Facebook. News Corp., which had bought Myspace for $580 million in 2005, sold it to Specific Media last year for $35 million.

Specific Media, based in Irvine, Calif., is an online ad network operator.

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Filed by Catharine Smith  |