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(2013-03-22 15:46:38)



分类: 阅读篇



Business Facebook and Privacy Sorry, friends

商业脸谱和用户隐私, 对不起, 朋友

The giant social network is castigated for serious privacy failings


  FACEBOOK has been playing with fire and has got its fingers burned, again. On November 29th America's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had reached a draft settlement with the giant social network over allegations that it had misled people about its use of their personal data.


  The details of the settlement make clear that Facebook, which boasts over 800m users, betrayed its users' trust. It is also notable because it appears to be part of a broader attempt by the FTC to craft a new privacy framework to deal with the swift rise of social networks in America.

    这份解决方案的细节明确说明,脸谱网背叛了它所声称的八亿用户的信任。 FTC有个更大的计划,那就是构建一个新的隐私框架,以应对美国快速攀升的社交网用户。而这份解决方案似乎是FTC计划中的一部分,这也是它受到广泛关注的又一个原因。

   The regulator's findings come at a sensitive time for Facebook, which is said to be preparing for an initial public offering next year that could value it at around $100 billion. To clear the way for its blockbuster flotation, the firm first needs to resolve its privacy tussles with regulators in America and Europe. Hence its willingness to negotiate the settlement unveiled this week, which should be finalized at the end of December after a period for public comment.


  Announcing the agreement, the FTC said it had found a number of cases where Facebook had made claims that were "unfair and deceptive, and violated federal law". For instance, it passed on personally identifiable information to advertisers, even though it said it would not do so. And it failed to keep a promise to make photos and videos on deactivated and deleted accounts inaccessible.

   FTC宣布协议时说发现有好几次脸谱的声明都是 "不公平,欺骗的,并触犯了联邦法", 比如,即使FTC嘴上声称不会把用户身份信息透露给广告商,但还是把用户身份信息透露给广告商。还有,账户没有激活或取消后,上面的相片和视频却仍然可以被搜索到,这完全与它的承诺不相符。

  The settlement does not constitute an admission by Facebook that it has broken the law. But the regulator's findings are deeply embarrassing for the company nonetheless. In a blog post published the same day, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's boss, tried to play down the impact of the deal. First he claimed that "a small number of high-profile mistakes" were overshadowing the social network's "good history" on privacy. Then he confessed that it could still do better and said he had hired two new "chief privacy officers".

   脸谱没有在这份协议中承认自己触犯法律。 但是,监管者的调查结果已经让这个公司陷入极为尴尬的境地。 同一天,脸谱老板Mark Zuckerberg在一篇博文上极力淡化这份协议的影响。 在这篇博文中,他首先声明"一小部分被高调炒作的错误"正在使脸谱网关于用户隐私的"良好记录"蒙羞。接着,他承认确实有一些地方需要改进,并说明他已经雇用了两名新的"首席隐私官"。

  The FTC is not relying on Facebook to police itself. Among other things, the company will now have to seek consumers' approval before it changes the way it shares their data. And it has agreed to an independent privacy audit every two years for the next 20 years. Jeff Chester of the Centre for Digital Democracy reckons this will make it somewhat easier for privacy activists to hold the social network to account.

   FTC不指望脸谱自我监督。此外, 在改变用户信息共享方式前,它还必须征询用户的同意,并且它也同意在未来二十年里每两年进行一次独立的隐私审核。数字民主中心的Jeff Chester认为,这从某种程度上让隐私主义者更容易相信脸谱会为自己的行为负责。

  There is a clear pattern here. In separate cases over the past couple of years the FTC has insisted that Twitter and Google accept regular external audits, too, after each firm was accused of violating its customers' privacy. The intent seems to be to create a regulatory regime that is tighter than the status quo, but one that still gives social networks plenty of room to innovate. The audits can be used to tweak the framework in the light of new developments.

   这是一个清晰的模式。从过去几年里Twitter和Google各自的案例来看,在这两家公司分别被指控触犯用户隐私后,FTC也坚持要求两家公司接受定期的外部审核,目的似乎就是为了给此类社交网络创造一个比现状严格却又有足够空间革新的管理制度。 从发展的角度讲,这些审核有助于打破原本框架。

  Some observers reckon web firms have agreed to all this in the hope that it will deflect a push for more onerous privacy legislation in America. But outrage over Facebook's behaviour could spur Congress into action anyway. And it will certainly not be lost on regulators in Europe who are scrutinizing the social network's privacy record too. Mr Zuckerberg's latest mea culpa is unlikely to be his last.

    一些观察家认为,这些网络公司全盘接受这些审核,希望借此摆脱美国更为繁琐的隐私保护法。 但是公众对脸谱行为的不满终将刺激国会做出反应,而正在审查该社交网隐私记录的欧洲监管者也必然会给予这些不满的呼声以相应的重视。看来Zuckerberg先生最近的这次检讨不会是最后一次。



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