By Joe Osborne From games.com
Facebook games and privacy have been something of, well, you'll just say it: a pain in the ass more times than not. Even as recently as this summer, changes to the games platform had players scrambling to protect their privacy. And while you almost always find workarounds, it simply shouldn't have to be that way. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally (if reluctantly) agrees with that.
From this day forward, all changes to Facebook that might affect users' privacy will be opt-in, meaning users will have to agree to the change before it can take place within their profile or an app. According to a statement made by the US Federal Trade Commission, Facebook is "required to obtain consumers' affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences."
This settlement is the result of charges issued against Facebook by the FTC that the company "deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public." Now, the company must be audited by third-party privacy firms every two years to ensure that Facebook holds a privacy program that meets the FTC's order.
Of course, this means that it will be much more difficult for Facebook to push changes like, say, the the Facebook Games Ticker, which blasts in-game activities without the player so much as clicking a "Share" button. Sure, this likely means that no future Facebook change will ever reach 100 percent of its users. But maybe you also don't like it when everyone and their mother knows exactly when you log into CastleVille every day.
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