- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2011


New changes aimed at improving transparency

BERLIN | Facebook Inc. has agreed to make several changes to its services to improve transparency and better protect the personal data of its millions of users outside of the U.S., following an in-depth audit of its international headquarters that was released Wednesday.

The social media company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., agreed to changes including asking European users if they wanted to partake in its Facial Recognition, reworking its policies of retaining and deleting private data, and reducing the amount of information collected about people who are not logged into Facebook, the company said in response to the report of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

Facebook’s international headquarters are based in Dublin. Ireland is a member of the European Union, meaning the company is required to comply with European data privacy laws, which are more stringent than those that apply in the United States, particularly regarding how long data can be retained.

The company has agreed to present its results in a follow-up to the report in July.


Judge upholds $327M verdict over J&J; marketing

TRENTON | A South Carolina judge has upheld a $327 million civil penalty against Johnson & Johnson, which was found guilty by a jury of overstating the safety and effectiveness of antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

Attorneys for the state say it’s the biggest verdict in the country over the marketing of Risperdal.

The pill for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder once brought J&J; more than $3.4 billion in annual sales.

But it’s been mired for years in litigation over alleged kickbacks, promotion for unapproved uses and other efforts to boost Risperdal over competing drugs. Dozens of pending state and federal cases allege illegal marketing practices for Risperdal, including one in which Texas is seeking up to $1 billion.

J&J; of New Brunswick, N.J., says it will appeal the South Carolina ruling.


Apple buys startup for about $400M

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