Canada's privacy commissioner launches Facebook probe

Canadian authorities have launched an investigation into Facebook after four University of Ottawa law students complained the site breaches the law by disclosing personal information to advertisers without obtaining proper consent. The students allege in a complaint lodged Friday that the popular social networking web site has committed 22 violations. "There's definitely some significant shortcomings with Facebook's privacy settings and with their ability to protect users," said Harley Finkelstein, 24, one of the students behind the complaint. Canadian law mandates that information including address, sexual preference, birthdate and school attended cannot be disclosed without the user's consent. On Facebook, users must specifically change their settings to keep that information private. "If a 14-year-old kid in Toronto decides to join Facebook ... and he decides to join the Toronto network, does he really know that everyone on that network - by default - will have access to his personal information?" Facebook refuted the claims, saying the complaint ignores key elements of the company's policy.