Client Alert

| November 30, 2011

The Social Network Gets a Privacy Report Card from the Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (the “Commission”) released for public comment on November 29th a proposed Consent Order for settlement following its long-standing investigation of the privacy practices of social media giant Facebook, Inc. (In the Matter of Facebook, Inc). Upon review of public comments following the 30-day comment period, the Commission will either make the Consent Order final or withdraw from the settlement agreement and consider other “appropriate action.” The settlement would bring closure, at least for now, to the official federal investigation of Facebook’s privacy practices as the company heads toward a possible IPO in 2012. Regardless of which course the Commission takes, the draft Consent Order and the underlying Commission complaint warrant careful review, not just by major players in the social networking industry but by all businesses that seek to tap into the marketing and advertising potential of social media.

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