Reporting from San Francisco — Facebook will improve privacy protections in Europe over the next six months after an investigation into its practices there, the Irish data protection agency said Wednesday.
The agency conducted a three-month audit of Facebook's compliance with European Union and Irish data protection requirements.
Facebook, the Menlo Park, Calif., company that has its European headquarters in Dublin, has agreed to give users more information on how Facebook and third-party apps handle their information, minimize how much data is collected on users when they are not logged in to Facebook and warn European users that Facebook uses facial recognition software that suggests people to tag in photos.
The Dublin headquarters has responsibility for handling hundreds of millions of users outside the U.S. and Canada.
"This was a challenging engagement both for my office and for Facebook Ireland," Irish Data Protection Commissioner Gary David said in a statement. "Arising from the audit, [Facebook Ireland] has agreed to a wide range of 'best practice' improvements to be implemented over the next six months."
There will be another formal review in July.
The agency received 22 complaints from a privacy group, Europe V Facebook, and additional complaints from the Norwegian Data Protection Agency. Facebook said it was pleased that the report underscored a number of Facebook's "strengths or best practices" in the security of user data and using personal information to target ads.