On the heels of launching a series of new products that has Facebook users spilling more details of their lives online, the company has now announced a series of new ad products that give advertisers more information about their prospective customers and expands the tools advertisers can use to turn users’ ordinary Facebook activities into paid endorsements. Read more

Spotify has been forced to introduce new privacy features to its music streaming software after complaints by users about its Facebook integration.

It’s the first climbdown by an app maker after last week’s f8 introduced “frictionless sharing”, whereby every song listened to is shared on Facebook by default. Read more

Richard Waters

Facebook’s decision to put more privacy controls into its members’ hands while they are actually using the service – not just tucked away on a separate privacy settings page – should be welcomed. But as often with such developments on Facebook, there are also reasons for caution. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Google remains on notice from the UK’s data protection watchdog after an audit found that it had taken “reasonable steps” to improve its privacy practices. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Well, that was fast. Just 48 hours after the FT flagged a loophole that “resharing” on Google+ could in a couple of clicks make a “limited” post visible to anyone, Google has announced a fix will be in place early next week. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

A big part of Google’s pitch for its new social networking service is that it’s easier for users to manage who sees what they post on the site.

Privacy has never been a strong suit for either Facebook or Google, but the Circles feature on Google+ is a simpler way to categorise groups of friends than is available on Facebook. Users are given the option of which Circles of contacts to share a piece of content with, each and every time they post something. Google has today been able to bathe in the rare warmth of widespread praise for its approach to privacy.

But this is a beta and there are going to be bugs. One appears to be in Google+’s “resharing” feature, which works a little like a retweet on Twitter or reblogging on Tumblr. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook has admitted that it hired a public-relations firm in the US with the aim of placing stories critical of Google’s approach to privacy in the media.

The embarrassing disclosure is the latest sign of the increasing rivalry between Facebook and Google, as they go head-to-head over internet users’ time and advertisers’ budgets. Read more

Joseph Menn

Multiple members of the US Congress fired off letters to Apple this week about reports that iPhones not only store data about their owners whereabouts but leave unencrypted copies of the information on users’ main computers. Read more

Under pressure from regulators, two more browsers are taking steps to help users avoid having their internet activity tracked–if the websites they visit cooperate. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Glee and gloom in equal measure for Facebook today.

The latest forecasts by eMarketer pitch its global 2011 ad revenues at more than $4bn globally this year – double last year’s sales, and another eye-popping feat of scale.

But at the same time, Facebook is fending off another privacy outcry after allowing developers to access users’ addresses and phone numbers. Read more