Facebook looks set to face a fight after a Canadian privacy group filed a complain accusing it of 22 breaches of the country’s privacy laws.

The popular social networking site is one of the most popular internet destinations in Canada, but the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) insists that it allows young people to take major risks with confidential information.

“Social networking online is a growing phenomenon," CIPPIC director Phillipa Lawson told the BBC.

"It is proving to be a tremendous tool for community-building and social change, but at the same time, a minefield of privacy invasion.

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"We chose to focus on Facebook because it is the most popular social networking site in Canada and because it appeals to young teens who may not appreciate the risks involved in exposing their personal details online."

Facebook has responded: "We pride ourselves on the industry leading controls we offer users over their private information. We believe that this is an important reason that nearly 40% of Canadians on the internet use our service.

"We've reviewed the complaint and found it has serious factual errors, most notably its neglect of the fact that almost all Facebook data is willingly shared by users."