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Facebook in data protection row - again

30 Nov 2011 12:52 GMT Back
Facebook in data protection row - again
Facebook in data protection row

Also in the news

As Facebook prepares to float on the stock exchange, the social media giant faces criticism in the US and EU over its collection and use of data.

Yesterday (29 November), Facebook settled charges by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it had deceived users and shared information it had told them would be private.

And, according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph, The European Commission plans to put a halt to Facebook’s eavesdropping on its users. 

Facebook is reportedly using information from people’s activities on the site, regardless of their privacy settings, and making it available to advertisers. 

This type of online behavioural advertising (OBA) could face tough regulation in the very near future. The European Commission will announce proposals to revise the EU Data Protection Directive in late January. 

This is likely to give individuals more rights in how and where their data is collected, as well as the option to opt out of types of OBA

Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission said: “I call on service providers – especially social media sites – to be more transparent about how they operate. Users must know what data is collected and for what purposes.”

Over in the US, following the FTC’s eight-count complaint against Facebook for failing to live up to data privacy promises and unfair/deceptive trade practices, Facebook has agreed to a proposed settlement with the FTC. 

As part of the settlement, Facebook is reportedly not allowed to 'continue making deceptive claims about its privacy and must get users’ approval before making any changes to the way it shares their information'. The FTC also requires Facebook to consent to periodic privacy audits for the next 20 years.

Read article from the DMA Legal newsletter (December 2011): ICO challenges ‘right to be forgotten’ (DMA members only).

Posted by 
Neil Turner

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