Facebook has agreed to retrofit its application platform in a way that will prevent any application from accessing information until it obtains express consent for each category of personal information it wishes to access. Under this new permissions model, users adding an application will be advised that the application wants access to specific categories of information. The user will be able to control which categories of information an application is permitted to access. There will also be a link to a statement by the developer to explain how it will use the data.
This change will require significant technological changes. Developers using the platform will also need to adapt their applications and Facebook expects the entire process to take one year to implement.
Now the privacy commissioners are taking action, perhaps their competition law counterparts can take a look at our more recent work!