Yesterday, the FTC announced that MySpace has agreed to settle charges that it engaged in deceptive practices by disclosing personal information to third parties despite statements in its privacy policy suggesting it would not engage in such sharing.  The proposed settlement with MySpace reflects the FTC’s continuing concern with the privacy practices of social networking services and follows on the heels of settlements with Facebook, Twitter, and Google (the latter relating to Google’s “Buzz” social networking service).  Like Facebook and Google before it, MySpace agreed to a consent order that (if it becomes final) would require the company to implement a comprehensive privacy program and submit to third-party privacy audits for the next 20 years. 

As with many of the incidents involving consumer privacy that have been subject to recent FTC action (as well as private litigation), MySpace’s practices appear to have been first explored by the Wall Street Journal, as part of its “What They Know” series on online privacy.