Conn. official: Facebook fixes profile trouble

July 27, 2011 4:49:15 AM PDT
Connecticut's attorney general said Tuesday that as a result of work by his office and Facebook, the social media site has made it easier to report impostor profiles.

Lawyers for Facebook and the attorney general's office worked to address privacy concerns and other issues after state Rep. Kim Rose of Milford said she had difficulty contacting Facebook to shut down an impostor profile that she says fraudulently solicited money, Attorney General George Jepsen said.

Jepsen said Facebook has been cooperative and diligent "and I look forward to working with them in the future to make sure Facebook users' privacy is protected, which I believe is our shared goal."

Tim Sparapani, director of public policy at Facebook, said in a statement that Facebook users will now be more aware of personalized privacy settings and how they can be used.

Jepsen expressed concern last month that consumer privacy was being compromised by a new Facebook feature that uses facial recognition software to make it easier to identify and tag people in photos. He said users were not given adequate notice of the feature or how to disable it easily.

The attorney general said Facebook has developed online ads that link users to their privacy settings and allow them to opt out if they choose. For users who opt out, facial recognition data collected will be deleted, Jepsen said.

The company also assured Jepsen that it was not using the information for marketing or other commercial purposes and that data was secured and could not be used by private individuals to gain access to other user information, he said.

Rose, a Democrat, had accused Facebook of failing to respond quickly to take down a fake account after repeated complaints that her name and photographs were being used without her permission.

She said she is "very satisfied" with the changes Facebook has made. Another fake site was taken down in a matter of hours two weeks ago, she said. In contrast, the first one had been up for weeks.

"I don't know who wants to be me," Rose said.