Facebook tries to improve its scarred privacy reputation

Data Privacy Day is a holiday that occurs every January 28. The Day’s purpose is to promote awareness and educate others about privacy. The holiday is celebrated in the United States, Canada and 27 European Countries.

Data Privacy Day focuses on raising awareness amongst teens and young adults about protecting online personal information, specifically in the area of social networking.

In a post about the company’s participation in Data Privacy Day Facebook said:

"Join the National Cyber Security Alliance for a Data Privacy Day 2012 live-stream featuring the Honorable Julie Brill, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission and two expert panels. Our own Chief Privacy Officer for Policy Erin Egan will participate in a panel titled "Privacy & Security: Best Practices in Action," which will incorporate questions from the Facebook audience. Click the link to RSVP and ask questions in advance on the Facebook Event wall!"

Needless to say this smells like an obvious PR stunt in reference to Facebook’s tainted privacy reputation. The social networking site is subject to 20 years of mandatory audits by the Federal Trade Commission.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook blog about the company’s "many mistakes" and about hiring his new Chief Privacy Officer:

"Erin Egan will become Chief Privacy Officer, Policy. Erin recently joined Facebook after serving as a partner and co-chair of the global privacy and data security practice of Covington & Burling, the respected international law firm. Throughout her career, Erin has been deeply involved in legislative and regulatory efforts to address privacy, data security, spam, spyware and other consumer protection issues. Erin will lead our engagement in the global public discourse and debate about online privacy and ensure that feedback from regulators, legislators, experts and academics from around the world is incorporated into Facebook’s practices and policies."

Facebook has created a Data Privacy Day page where people can ask questions that Facebook can choose to answer during the live stream.

 

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