Some important facts about the privacy on Facebook
Facebook is a corporation and an online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California, in the United States. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard College roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to high-school students. Since 2006, anyone in general who has attained an age of 13 years or more has been allowed to become a registered user of the website, though variations in the minimum age requirement exist depending on applicable local laws. Its name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students.
After registering to use the site, users can create a user profile, add other users as "friends", exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share videos, use various apps and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends". Also, users can complain or block unpleasant people. Facebook had over 1.59 billion monthly active users as of August 2015. Because of the large volume of data users submit to the service, Facebook has come under scrutiny for their privacy policies. Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012 and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion. On July 13, 2015, Facebook became the fastest company in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to reach a market cap of $250 billion. Following its Q3 earnings call in 2015, Facebook's market cap exceeded $300 billion.
Facebook enables users to choose their own privacy settings and choose who can see specific parts of their profile. The website is free to its users and generates revenue from advertising, such as banner ads. Facebook requires a user's name and profile picture (if applicable) to be accessible by everyone. Users can control who sees other information they have shared, as well as who can find them in searches, through their privacy settings.
On November 6, 2007, Facebook launched Facebook Beacon, which was a part of Facebook's advertisement system until it was discontinued in 2009. Its purpose was to allow targeted advertisements and allowing users to share their activities with their friends.
In 2010, Facebook's security team began expanding its efforts to reduce the risks to users' privacy, but privacy concerns remain.
Since 2010, among other social media services, the National Security Agency has been taking publicly posted profile information from users Facebook profiles to discover who they interact with.
On November 29, 2011, Facebook settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by failing to keep privacy promises.
In August 2013 High-Tech Bridge published a study showing that links included in Facebook messaging service messages were being accessed by Facebook. In January 2014 two users filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging that their privacy had been violated by this practice.