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So maybe they shared your personal information with advertisers (without telling you), gave apps more access to your profile than you thought, and engaged in "deceptive" privacy settings. Facebook has had its low moments. Forgive and forget, right?

Not exactly. Yesterday the Federal Trade Commission--the government organization responsible for consumer protection--announced a settlement with Facebook over privacy grievences dating back to 2009.

Good news: the FTC has our back. The agreement "bars Facebook from making any further deceptive privacy claims, requires that the company get consumers' approval before it changes the way it shares their data, and requires that it obtain periodic assessments of its privacy practices by independent, third-party auditors for the next 20 years."

If Facebook violates the terms, they'll pay a $16,000 fine per violation.

To be fair, Facebook isn't the first major web company to get a finger wagging from the FTC, as both Google and Twitter previously came under scrutiny for their privacy policies. The FTC hasn't shunned social media despite privacy blips; on Tuesday it posted a tweet to point out that "Innovation doesn't have to come at the expense of privacy."

Mark Zuckerberg (or at least his PR minions) are on the scene with an apologetic yet chipper  response promising that they'll be on their best behavior going forward.

Photo taken from this photostream and used with permission of a Creative Commons license.

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