Following an audit from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, Facebook is being forced to make changes to the way it manages its users personal information. The audit was commissioned after 22 complaints were lodged through the group Europe Versus Facebook.

Facebook Ireland is responsible for all Facebook activity outside of the US and Canada, reports RTE News. So when Europe Versus Facebook lodged its 22 complaints, it became the responsibility of the Irish Office of Data Protection Commissioner to handle them.

The audit created by the Data Protection Commission was “the most intensive ever”, and its recommendations will have an impact on the hundreds of millions of global Facebook users, says RTE.
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Facebook has agreed to the changes included in the recommendations by the Commission and will implement them over the next seven months. Included in the changes are a reduction in the amount of time Facebook can retain information which was deleted by users; the provision of more control with regard to tagging and posting on other websites; and gaining more consent for new facial recognition in photo-tagging.

“There will also now be more transparency and control over how personal information is used for advertising on the site,” said RTE, which has been a point of contention for many Facebook users worldwide.

The rolling changes will be overseen by the Commission, and additional recommendations will be made if deemed necessary. The Commission said that this is the beginning, rather than the end, of its relationship with the ever-evolving Facebook.

In a statement, Facebook said that “the audit highlighted several opportunities to strengthen their existing practices.” It will consider further recommendations made by the Commission.