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Facebook Changes its Privacy Policy, eh?

The next time somebody tells you Canada has no influence online, you can point them to this news story: The Canadian Privacy Commission issued a report in July critical of Facebook's privacy policy, and as a result, the popular social networking site is changing the way it displays and maintains personal information.

One in three Canadians, or 12 million northerners, use Facebook. The commission determined that the company violates Canadian law by keeping personal information about people who have deactivated their accounts on its servers indefinitely.

Among the changes Facebook has agreed to implement is a restriction on the access third-party developers will have to personal data (such as date of birth) from members who use their apps. Developers will only be allowed to ask for personal data when they specifically need it in order to enable their apps to operate.

This is apparently the first instance of a government agency challenging the privacy policy of a major social media site, and it could have repercussions for Facebook and other sites far beyond the Canadian borders.

For a more in-depth look at this issue, please read today's post by Chloe Albanesius on PCmag.com.