Facebook, FTC Near Privacy Settlement

Facebook Inc. is finalizing a proposed settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it engaged in deceptive behavior when changing its privacy settings, according to people familiar with the situation.

The proposed settlement — which is awaiting final approval from the agency commissioners — would require Facebook to obtain “express affirmative consent” if Facebook makes “material retroactive changes,” some of the people said.

The agreement would require Facebook to submit to independent privacy audits for 20 years, the people said. Google Inc. agreed to similar audits in March, when it settled FTC charges of falsely representing how it would use personal information.

A spokeswoman for the FTC declined to comment.

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