Authorities in Europe are not happy with the level of teen privacy and security measures put in place by Facebook. Speaking at the Safer Internet Day Initiative, Viviane Reding – European commissioner for the information society, said that the Social Networking site should tighten up its privacy settings to protect the children.
European Commission for Information Society wanted to pass a legislation to force the required privacy changes for children, however, the Commission was stopped short of doing that – as 25 of the most popular social networking sites in Europe joined forces and pledged to improve their privacy policies. Besides Facebook, these social sites include services such as Yahoo Answers and Windows Live.
Reding wants the social networking sites to make teen profiles private by default. However, more than a year and millions of additional minors later, Facebook has moved in exactly the opposite direction. With the new privacy settings, Facebook has now scrapped almost all the default “private” settings, making the profile photos, status updates, gender, location and other information of users “public” by default.
The European Commissioner has been shocked by this move, and might decide to take the legislative route, if Facebook continues to march on the same path. However, the decision to draft a legislation would be up to Reding’s successor, Neelie Kroes, who is taking over the helms from Reding from today.
Facebook is slowly becoming isolated in its crusade to make all the user’s data public, since 19 of the 25 social sites that were asked to make the minor data private, have already complied with the commissioner’s demands. These 25 sites include Arto, Bebo, Dailymotion, Facebook, Giovani.it, YouTube, Hyves, Windows Live, Xboxlive, MySpace, Nasza-klaza.pl, Netlog, One.lt, Piczo, Rate.ee, Skyrock, SchülerVZ StudiVZ MeinVZ, Habbo, IRC Galleria, Tuenti, Yahoo!Answers, Flickr, and Zap.lu.