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Critics Slam Proposed Privacy Settlement

SOCIAL NETWORKING—U.S.

February 4, 2010

Critics are calling Facebook's settlement offer in a privacy lawsuit involving its Beacon behavioral tracking service "meaningless" while the company contends it is fair and adequate, Computerworld reports. The disagreement stems from a 2008 lawsuit alleging the social-networking site and its Beacon affiliates violated federal privacy laws by sharing data about Facebook users. The proposed settlement includes $9.5 million to fund a privacy foundation. The recent complaints filed in U.S. District Court, however, argue the company would be paying itself to fund a privacy foundation under its own control. Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt says that suggestion is "absurd" as the privacy foundation's bylaws establish it as an independent entity to be run by privacy advocates.
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