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Facebook bolsters team in response to increased privacy scrutiny

Warwick Ashford

Facebook has hired former US Federal Trade Commission chairman Tim Muris in the face of increased government scrutiny of the social networking site's privacy policies.

The FTC is taking a close look at complaints against Facebook that have been filed by privacy advocates, according to the Financial Times.

The hiring of Muris comes after a similar move in 2009 when Facebook hired Tim Sparapani, then senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has close ties with some of the site's strongest critics.

Facebook came under increased fire for not doing enough to protect personal information in early May after a security flaw allowed users to eavesdrop on private chat sessions.

The incident coincided with a complaint by 15 consumer groups to the FTC about Facebook's privacy settings.

The complaint calls on the FTC to investigate Facebook's privacy practices and force it to take steps to guard better against security breaches.

Consumer groups stepped up criticism of Facebook after the company added facilities in April to enable users to tell their friends about products and websites they like.

While adding those tools, Facebook changed the way a user's profile information is classified and protected, disclosing information that users previously restricted, according to the complaint.


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