[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 93 (Monday, May 14, 2012)]
[Pages 28388-28390]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11613]



[File No. 102 3058]

Myspace, LLC; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public 

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed consent agreement.


SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or 
practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to 
Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft 
complaint and the terms of the consent order--embodied in the consent 
agreement--that would settle these allegations.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 8, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``Myspace, File No. 102 
3058'' on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/myspaceconsent, by following the 
instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment 
on paper, mail or deliver your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex 
D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Katherine Race Brin (202-326-2106) or 
Amanda Koulousias (202-326-3334), FTC, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and Sec.  2.34 the 
Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that 
the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to 
cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final 
approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a 
period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public 
Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the 
allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of 
the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page 
(for May 8, 2012), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public 
Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before June 8, 2012. 
Write ``Myspace, File No. 102 3058'' on your comment. Your comment--
including your name and your state--will be placed on the public record 
of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public 
Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a 
matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home 
contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission 
Web site.
    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, 
date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification 
number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial 
account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive health information, like medical records or other 
individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not 
include any ``[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information 
which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or 
confidential,'' as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 
46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do 
not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales 
statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing 
processes, or customer names.
    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential 
treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for 
confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained 
in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).\1\ Your comment will be kept

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confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole 
discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the 
public interest.

    \1\ In particular, the written request for confidential 
treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and 
legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions 
of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 
4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/myspaceconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. 
If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also 
may file a comment through that Web site.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``Myspace, File No. 102 
3058'' on your comment and on the envelope, and mail or deliver it to 
the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the 
Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20580. If possible, submit your paper comment to the 
Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this 
Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws 
that the Commission administers permit the collection of public 
comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The 
Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that 
it receives on or before June 8, 2012. You can find more information, 
including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the 
Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final 
approval, a consent agreement from Myspace LLC (``Myspace'').
    The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for 
thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. 
Comments received during this period will become part of the public 
record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the 
agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should 
withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final 
the agreement's proposed order.
    Myspace operates a social networking Web site, www.myspace.com, 
that, among other features, enables a consumer who uses the site to 
create and customize a personal online profile. These profiles contain 
content about users, such as their name, the names of other users who 
are their ``friends'' on the site, photos and videos they upload, 
messages and comments they post or receive from their friends, and 
other personal information. Myspace assigns a persistent unique 
numerical identifier, called a ``Friend ID,'' to each user profile 
created on Myspace. The Friend ID is a component of the URL for each 
user's profile page. For example, inserting www.myspace.com/12345678 
into the address bar of a web browser will bring up the Myspace profile 
page of the user who is assigned Friend ID 12345678. The Friend ID can 
be used to access information about the user, including the user's 
profile picture, location, gender, age, display name (e.g., a nickname 
or pseudonym displayed on the user's profile), and, in many cases, the 
user's full name.
    Myspace obtains revenue by allowing third-party or affiliate 
advertising networks to serve advertisements directly on its site. The 
FTC complaint alleges that Myspace made numerous promises to its users 
regarding the extent to which it shared consumers' personal information 
with third-party advertisers. The complaint alleges that Myspace 
promised that: (1) It would not use or share a user's personally 
identifiable information, defined as full name, email address, mailing 
address, telephone number, or credit card number, without first giving 
notice to and receiving permission from users; (2) the means through 
which it customized ads did not allow advertisers to access personally 
identifiable information or individually identify users; (3) the 
information shared with advertisers regarding web browsing activity was 
anonymized; and (4) it complied with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework.
    The Commission's complaint alleges that Myspace violated Section 
5(a) of the FTC Act, by misleading users about what information third-
party advertisers received about them. According to the FTC complaint, 
from January 2009 through June 2010, and again from October 29, 2010 
through October 28, 2011, when Myspace displayed advertisements on its 
Web site from certain unaffiliated third-party advertisers, Myspace 
and/or its affiliate provided those advertisers with the Friend ID of 
the user who was viewing the page. With this information, a third-party 
advertiser could take simple steps to get detailed information about 
individual users. For example, a third-party advertiser could use the 
Friend ID to visit the user's personal profile on the Myspace Web site 
to obtain personal information, including, for most users, their full 
name. A third-party advertiser could also combine the user's real name 
and other personal information with additional information contained in 
the advertiser's tracking cookie, a small text file placed on a user's 
browser that may include information about the user's online browsing 
    The proposed order contains provisions designed to prevent Myspace 
from engaging in future practices similar to those alleged in the 
    Part I of the proposed order prohibits Myspace from misrepresenting 
the privacy and confidentiality of any ``covered information,'' as well 
as the company,s compliance with any privacy, security, or other 
compliance program, including but not limited to the U.S.-EU Safe 
Harbor Framework. ``Covered information'' is defined broadly to include 
an individual's: (a) First and last name; (b) home or other physical 
address, including street name and city or town; (c) email address or 
other online contact information, such as an instant messaging user 
identifier or screen name; (d) mobile or other telephone number; (e) 
photos and videos; (f) Internet Protocol (``IP'') address, User ID, 
device ID, or other persistent identifier; (g) list of contacts; or (h) 
physical location.
    Part II of the proposed order requires Myspace to establish and 
maintain a comprehensive privacy program that is reasonably designed 
to: (1) Address privacy risks related to the development and management 
of new and existing products and services, and (2) protect the privacy 
and confidentiality of covered information. The privacy program must be 
documented in writing and must contain privacy controls and procedures 
appropriate to Myspace's size and complexity, the nature and scope of 
its activities, and the sensitivity of covered information. 
Specifically, the order requires Myspace to:
     Designate an employee or employees to coordinate and be 
responsible for the privacy program;
     Identify reasonably-foreseeable, material risks, both 
internal and external, that could result in the unauthorized 
collection, use, or disclosure of covered information and assess the 
sufficiency of any safeguards in place to control these risks;
     Design and implement reasonable privacy controls and 
procedures to control the risks identified through the privacy risk 
assessment and regularly test or monitor the effectiveness of the 
safeguards' key controls and procedures;

[[Page 28390]]

     Develop and use reasonable steps to select and retain 
service providers capable of appropriately protecting the privacy of 
covered information they receive from respondent, and require service 
providers by contract to implement and maintain appropriate privacy 
protections; and
     Evaluate and adjust its privacy program in light of the 
results of the testing and monitoring, any material changes to its 
operations or business arrangements, or any other circumstances that it 
knows or has reason to know may have a material impact on the 
effectiveness of its privacy program.
    Part III of the proposed order requires that Myspace obtain within 
180 days, and on a biennial basis thereafter for twenty (20) years, an 
assessment and report from a qualified, objective, independent third-
party professional, certifying, among other things, that: It has in 
place a privacy program that provides protections that meet or exceed 
the protections required by Part II of the proposed order; and its 
privacy controls are operating with sufficient effectiveness to provide 
reasonable assurance that the privacy of covered information is 
    Parts IV through VIII of the proposed order are reporting and 
compliance provisions. Part IV requires that Myspace retain for a 
period of five (5) years: (a) All ``widely disseminated statements'' 
that describe the extent to which respondent maintains and protects the 
privacy and confidentiality of any covered information, along with all 
materials relied upon in making or disseminating such statements; (b) 
all consumer complaints directed at Myspace, or forwarded to Myspace by 
a third party, that allege unauthorized collection, use, or disclosure 
of covered information and any responses to such complaints; (c) all 
subpoenas and other communications with law enforcement entities or 
personnel that relate to its compliance with the proposed order; (d) 
documents that contradict, qualify, or call into question its 
compliance with the proposed order. Part IV additionally requires that 
Myspace retain all materials relied upon to prepare the third-party 
assessments for a period of five (5) years after the date that each 
assessment is prepared.
    Part V requires dissemination of the order now and in the future to 
principals, officers, directors, and managers, and to all current and 
future employees, agents, and representatives having supervisory 
responsibilities relating to the subject matter of the order. Part VI 
ensures notification to the FTC of changes in corporate status. Part 
VII mandates that Myspace submit an initial compliance report to the 
FTC and make available to the FTC subsequent reports. Part VIII is a 
provision ``sunsetting'' the order after twenty (20) years, with 
certain exceptions.
    The purpose of the analysis is to aid public comment on the 
proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the proposed order or to modify its terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission, Commisioner Ohlhausen not 
Donald S. Clark,
[FR Doc. 2012-11613 Filed 5-11-12; 8:45 am]