The settlement would require Facebook to receive user consent before making "material retroactive changes" to its privacy settings. It would also require independent privacy audits for the next 20 years.
Facebook investigations began in December 2009 after CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared the age of privacy dead. At the time, Facebook made all aspects of a users' profile, including name, photo, city, gender and friends' list public by default. Before the change, users were able to manually choose the audience for this data.
Last March, the FTC charged Google with "deceptive privacy practices" over the launch of Google Buzz. The settlement barred Google from "future privacy misrepresentations," and "required it to implement a comprehensive privacy program," which called for regular, independent privacy audits for the next 20 years. Users would have to give Google "affirmative consent" before allowing it to change how it shared personal data.