Mike Isaac

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Facebook Hooks Up With Attorneys General for Teen Profile Privacy Awareness

privacy_importantObvious statement of the day: Figuring out your Facebook profile privacy controls is hard. So hard, in fact, that the social network has had the FTC on its back for years about it.

Hence this morning’s announcement. Facebook will work with the National Association of Attorneys General to promote privacy awareness and general tips for teenagers on how to use the social network’s page settings.

It’s pretty straightforward stuff. Facebook will work with 19 attorneys general across the country (potentially more to come), creating state-specific videos on how to better manage your Facebook pages. There’s also a general tip sheet with data points on the topic, as well as videos created by the privacy team answering questions sent from the Facebook-using public on privacy questions in general.

“At Facebook, we work hard to make sure people understand how to control their information and stay safe online,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a statement. “We’re grateful for Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler’s leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with him and attorneys general around the country.”

Sandberg met with NAAG President Gansler and a few other state attorneys general on Sunday to talk about the initiative in advance of a privacy summit this week, also chatting about general Facebook privacy and safety efforts.

It’s another in a string of Facebook’s recently promoted information session initiatives, headed by Erin Egan, the company’s chief privacy officer. The goal is to find better ways to inform its massive user base of changes to the network, and how to better navigate it — a tough challenge, considering that there are so many users to inform, each with different levels of technology savvy.

Probably a good idea, considering that Facebook agreed to years of privacy audits as a result of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission back in 2011. Not to mention the heightened attention paid to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in recent years.

Expect to see the videos and initiatives promoted on Facebook over the coming year.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google