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Facebook’s Turn for Government Probe?


Move over Google and make room for Facebook on the exam table. Facebook just caused a letter to be sent from tow elected officials to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) which is like a rite of passage to say “you made it” in today’s Internet business world.

Google’s likely advice to Facebook if they are truly being called to the mat over privacy concerns would be “bend over and take it like a company trying to do something these days.”

Facebook has long been the poster child for privacy gaffes, although I don’t think any of it has been a simple mistake on Facebook’s part. Facebook treats their encroachment on users’ privacy the same way a young child pushes the envelope to discover the boundaries that their parents have for them. They push and push to see what they can get away with then when there is push back they play the “no harm, no foul” card.

Well, it looks like Facebook may have pushed a little too far. Their latest privacy issues concern Facebook following their users online activities on sites that had a Facebook “Like” button even after the user had logged out from Facebook itself. It’s hard not to look at this and just wonder how arrogant and smug Facebook will get by completely disregarding moral and ethical considerations but let’s just say this culture is a top down issue and leave it at that.

So what exactly is happening with Facebook and our friendly government leaders? The letter below from Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) as reported by Politico tells the story pretty well.


While it is WAY too early to see if this letter turns into anything more significant one thing it does point out is just how close an eye that certain members of the government are keeping on players like Facebook. There is political gold in “them thar hills” and these guys (and gals) know it. As a result, Facebook may want to reconsider just how many boundaries they are willing to test as an election year approaches. After all, what better way to get some notoriety in the polls than to take on Facebook about privacy?

Facebook, are you willing to poke that “friend”?

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