- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Canada’s privacy commissioner says Facebook has addressed concerns it raised a year ago over third-party access to users’ information.

Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said Wednesday that the world’s largest online social network has put changes in place over the past year that are “reasonable and meet the expectations set out under Canadian privacy law.”

A main concern had been that, under Facebook’s earlier settings, users who wanted to play games or access other outside applications had to make all their information available to third parties.

Facebook has since changed its policy to require applications to tell users what parts of their profile they want to access and request permission to do so.

“We’re also pleased that Facebook has developed simplified privacy settings and has implemented a tool that allows users to apply a privacy setting to each photo or comment they post,” Stoddart said in a statement.

The agency added it is now looking into further complaints about Facebook, including its invitation feature and its ubiquitous “Like” buttons on other websites.

Facebook, which has 500 million users worldwide and 15 million in Canada, said it is committed to making its privacy controls comprehensive and easy to understand and will continue to be even though the investigation is over.

Privacy concerns have plagued Facebook over the years as the site has largely pushed users to reveal more details about themselves. At the same time, the company has also given its users granular controls over much of what they share _ such as photos, status updates and who their friends are.