back to article Facebook privacy audit by auditors finds everything is awesome!

The US Federal Trade Commission has released an audit of Facebook's privacy practices and it turns out there's nothing to worry about, at least as far as accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is concerned. Clearly, there's nothing to worry about. Go back to your homes, people. PwC, retained to check on how Facebook has …

  1. doublelayer Silver badge

    A leaked message between PWC staff

    Please note: part of this message has been redacted by ________ in the interest of protecting confidential ________.

    We have completed our 2015-2017 audit of facebook, and things have gone remarkably well. We found facebook employees to be incredibly helpful; every time we arrived to audit their data center without announcing it first, some nice staffer would take us to lunch for two hours or so. Once we got back, they were very accommodating and allowed us to investigate all the parts of their data center, which is remarkably small for a company that big. It seems facebook has been storing next-to-nothing. Really, you can go to your facebook page and download their archive and that's all they have. Honest.

    Meanwhile, we'd like to inform the independence unit division about the answers to their many questions about the integrity of this audit. Facebook has taken no actions to try to sway us at all ________, and they would like to meet all the members of the independence unit at a time of your choosing so they can ________. They told us that if you don't have time, they could ________. However, if you would rather not, you should probably know that ________ information that you probably don't ________. For example, in the case of independence unit researcher ________, it turns out that they ________, ________, ________, and ________. I'm sure you will be available for facebook to inform you of any relevant information, which I'm sure you would like to read before you sign off on our document. We remain extremely interested in the integrity of our reporting. ________. Please let us know if you have any questions.

    With the warmest regards,

    Committee for the Analysis of Facebook's Privacy Endeavor

    Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)

    1 Hacker Way,

    Menlo Park, CA, 94025

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "The FTC,..repeated use of the trade secret exemption as a justification for withholding information

      that Facebook does not want revealed. "

      <DV mode>

      The irony is thick with this one.

      </DV mode>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A leaked message between PWC staff

      Please fill in the underlined sections in crayon. Our dedicated typing pool will effect the necessary retouchings, irrespective of their tears.

      http://www.metrolyrics.com/tears-in-the-typing-pool-lyrics-broadcast.html?ModPagespeed=noscript

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Ok.. so they're compliant with their 2011 Consent policy.

    A lot has happened in 7 years. Maybe they need an updated policy in light of all current BS and then audit to that. Although after the dog and pony show with Congress, I guess all will be declared well by all parties and it'll be business as usual. SSDD or maybe SSDY*.

    *SSDY = Same S**t Different Year

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who audits

    the auditors ?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Who audits

      The Cheshire cat sitting on the tree in front of you.

      YES, YOU ARE IN THAT PART OF THE UNIVERSE.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who audits

      Who audits the auditors auditors?

      That's also a problem, the auditors in this case are PwC. Ernst and Young do the Facebook accounts (plus Google and Apple, Microsoft is Deloitte) so on first glance I would expect them to be independent, however looking at the audit I'm going to say not a chance.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Who audits

      "the auditors ?"

      Sir Pterry might know.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who audits

      The thing about auditors is that so long as you can justify what you put on paper, then you're in the clear. If you messed up on date X, simply put it on paper that you messed up on date X, put a reason why you messed up ( not the right one obviously, are you stupid?! ) and all will be well with the company for another year. The second you have no paperwork, that's when you're in trouble with them! They're beancounters, they love paperwork, justificaitons, crossing the "T" 's and dotting those "I" 's, that's all that matters.

  4. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Nuke it from orbit

    Then nuke it twice more

    1. FuzzyWuzzys
      Facepalm

      Re: Nuke it from orbit

      No, nuke the comms links to the FB server farms, then they're simply be locked away from the rest of humanity. Remember Zuck and his mates think they're above the rest of us so they would never bother to check they can communicate with us, so they'd never know they've been cut off.

      Maybe then we can advance a couple of percent down the evolutionary path without a constant stream of cat pictures, inane pictures of cousin John's latest drinking binge and what Aunty Doris did on holiday this year!

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge
    WTF?

    PWC is an accounting firm. WTF do they know about privacy practices?

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Gimp

      Anyrhiung you would care to pay them for.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Dunno, but if they are claiming FB is clean and hunky dory, they may have just made themselves an even bigger target for hacker/conspiracy theorists looking for evidence of $something.

    3. FuzzyWuzzys

      Indeed...

      With apologies to Curtis and Elton....

      "An IT auditor who knows anything about IT is like a dog that speaks, very rare. An IT auditor who knows anything about IT privacy and security is like a dog that speaks Norwegian, even rarer!"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Quick Google search gives...

      One can assume only that being accountantas they have decided that the paybacks outnumber the fines/risk.....

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Quick Google search gives...

      So everything's just fine.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Quick Google search gives...

      One needs to remember that they made their name doing "accounting" err... vote tabulation for various high visibility award programs, like the Oscars, etc. Their name is out there and well known. However, all the scandals haven't seemed to touch them in the public eye.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Yeah right, and I'm the President of Trumpmenistan.

    Laughed my a$$ off when I saw thhis article. Now I gotta find my a$$, it's out there somewhere.

  9. Wolfclaw

    PwC, we'll sign off on anything, if the price is right !

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If PWC says its ok then it must be

    Right! Who paid for PWC's audit of Facebook, Facebook by any chance? Does anyone believe what Big-Accounting puts out these days.... 2 words: Arthur Andersen... I'd rather buy a CDO rated by Moody's / S&P than believe a PWC report. The hilarious thing is, these outfits can't even get simple Expat taxes right. Yet no one really ever calls them about. They're unaccountable like a corrupt / inept Regulator that never gets fired / retired!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That Makes Sense

    To audit a firm with a dodgy past send in a firm with a murky history!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That Makes Sense

      Sounds like more crooked games from Silly-con Valley!

  12. handleoclast

    PwC are ethical auditors

    If you bribe them to do something, they stay bribed. They wouldn't take another, larger bribe from somebody else to go against what they were first bribed to do.*

    *Certified by their auditors, who were bribed to say that. They, too, are ethical auditors.

  13. Chris G Silver badge

    Explain to me

    What are the accountants counting to gain the opinion that FB's privacy practices add up to okay?

    Good practices 51, bad practices 49?

    Bean counters are not the most imaginative of people, of course there's always a possibility of counting a brown envelope.

  14. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Re: ...has released an audit of Facebook's privacy practices...

    Maybe PwC held out two envelopes and asked the US FTC to pick one of them.

  15. SVV Silver badge

    Facebook privacy audit by auditors finds everything is awesome!

    Yeh, we couldn't find any anywhere!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PwC doesn't need to be bribed. That's just part of the service a big company gets when paying their normal eye-watering fees.

    They will carefully study the ethics of the situation.. in order to figure out just how far you can go without getting caught. And if they do get caught, they have the high-powered expertise to insist, against all logic, that everything conformed to the regulations/rules/consent decree.

    This doesn't always extend to their smaller clients, which simply get mid-grade service for high fees. If you won't quickly grow into a major account, you won't get any breaks.

  17. Colin Tree

    too big to fail

    It's no trade secret Facebook make their money from selling our data.

    So why has everybody got a problem.

    Facebook is "too big to fail" now that so many other businesses have their marketing tied to the platform and business model. So the FTC is reluctant to upset the big end of town.

  18. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Never hold an internal enquiry

    Unless you know what the outcome will be.

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