* Facebook officials meet Austrian privacy activists for
* Facebook promised to release categories of data stoted -
* Facebook cites "constructive" meeting, addressing
(Adds quotes and background)
VIENNA, Feb 7 U.S. social media network
Facebook has promised to release more information about the data
it collects from millions of users, an Austrian group lobbying
for respect of privacy laws said on Tuesday.
Facebook had agreed in December to overhaul privacy
protection for more than half a billion users outside North
America after a three-month Irish investigation found that its
privacy policies were overly complex and lacked transparency.
At a six-hour meeting in Vienna on Monday with the
europe-v-facebook.org group, Facebook officials pledged more
opennesss, a spokesman for the activists told reporters.
"We have a fixed commitment that we will finally know what
Facebook stores in the background, that means a list of all
categories of data that are clicked on by users," Max Schrems
The group led by Schrems, a law student in Vienna, has filed
22 complaints against Facebook that centre on allegations the
network gathers personal data that users had not authorised or
thought they had deleted.
They have become the foremost European critics of Facebook
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on Schrem's
specific points, but released a statement citing "a very
constructive meeting" with him and a colleague.
"Facebook is committed to resolving the complaints it has
received through the Office of the Irish Data Protection
Commissioner and this meeting is a helpful part of that
process," it said.
It had already started an "extensive programme of privacy
improvements", it added.
Facebook unveiled plans last week for the biggest-ever
Internet IPO, expected to value the company at up to $100
But tougher privacy regulation is a key risk for the world's
most popular social network, which made $3.71 billion in revenue
last year from advertising aimed at its 845 million users.
U.S. regulators are already cracking down on Web giants they
view as compromising user privacy to attract advertisers.
(Reporting by Michael Shields, Additional reporting by Georgina
Prodhan in London; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford and Jodie