Facebook Privacy

 Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy

31st August

Facing Up to Data Protection...

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Facebook to give users more controls and information about data usage

Facebook logo Facebook has been forced to give its users more control over how much of their personal information is shared with the social networking site and the makers of the games and quizzes they download onto their profile pages, in the latest move to increase online consumer protection.

The move, which comes in response to complaints from Canadian privacy officials, is part of a growing trend to clamp down on the use of personal data by social networking sites and the software developers who use them to distribute their applications. It could have repercussions for other sites such as MySpace and even Twitter.

As consumers are given more and more power over the use of their information, it reduces the potential ability of companies such as Facebook to make money supplying that information to advertisers. In the past, the company has come under fire for its own use of users' information to target advertising.

After a year-long review from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Facebook has agreed to give users more information about how it uses their data for advertising, and to change the default settings of its privacy controls which many users leave unaltered to better reflect users' preferences.

Now Facebook has accepted this needs tightening up. The changes, which Facebook will introduce over the next year, will affect all 250 million Facebook users worldwide, including those in the UK.

Application developers will have to specify which categories of data the software needs, so users can decide accordingly. Specifically, the application will have to tell users why it wants very sensitive information, such as date of birth. Users will also have to specifically approve any access Facebook applications have to their friends' information. Such access still would be subject to the friend's privacy and application settings.

Facebook will update its privacy policy so it provides users with more information about how to delete their accounts and how its advertising programs work.


25th September

Update: Gaining Face...

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Canadian privacy commissioner pleased by Facebook changes

Facebook logoThe Canadian privacy commissioner is happy with changes made by Facebook, following an investigation of the site's policies last year.

Jennifer Stoddart said the social network had vastly improved the sharing of personal information with third-party developers.

She believes that Facebook now provides users with clear information about privacy policies.

In May the social network made wide-ranging changes to its site. These changes came about partly as a result of pressure from privacy commissioners and campaigners around the world.

One of the major concerns of the Canadian commissioner was the way Facebook gave third-party developers virtually unrestricted access to Facebook users' personal information. The new model means developers must inform users of the data they need and seek consent to use it.

We're also pleased that Facebook has developed simplified privacy settings and has implemented a tool that allows users to apply a privacy setting to each photo or comment they post, said Stoddart.


7th October

Offsite: Crossing the Privacy Line...

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Warning that Facebook's new Time Line feature will let other people see the embarrassing sites that we have been visiting

Facebook logoImagine my surprise to see a couple of porn sites this morning using Facebook Connect.

So how are we going to manage our privacy when we hit porn sites. Are we ready to see what your particular taste is in the industry that cannot be mentioned or promoted on social media?

So exactly how is Facebook going to let us screen our timeline before we really get going and dive deeper into the things that we really do not want our friends and neighbors to know about.

...Read the full article

Visits to any site that has Facebook features such as 'like buttons' will be recorded on your own page unless you take positive action to turn it off, somewhere in the complex labyrinth of Facebook options.


 Update: Cease and Desist...

German consumer protection group tells Facebook to stop handing over data

Link Here 28th August 2012  full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy

vzbv logoA German consumer protection group has sent Facebook a cease and desist letter that claims the website breaches German privacy law.

Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (Federation of German Consumer Organizations) says Facebook has one week to stop automatically giving third party applications information about its users without their explicit consent.

The group said in a statement Monday that if Facebook fails to comply by Sept. 4 it will sue the California company.

Germany has stricter laws than most countries on data protection. These give consumers significant rights to limit the way companies use their information.


 Update: German court clicks the new Facebook dislike button...

German court fines facebook 100,000 euro over failure to implement a court order about privacy terms and conditions

Link Here 2nd March 2016  full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy
Facebook logo Facebook has been fined 100,000 euros in Germany after failing to follow orders regarding clearer privacy terms and conditions for users.

The regional court of Berlin ruled that the company did not sufficiently alter the working of an intellectual property clause in its terms and conditions, despite being told to do so following a complaint filing by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations. The entity's head, Klaus Mueller, said that Facebook keeps attempting to evade customer laws in Germany as well as in the entire continent.

In March 2012, a German court originally ruled that the company's terms and conditions were vague on the extent to which it could go with users' data and intellectual property, implying Facebook could license its users' photos and videos to third parties for business reasons. However, the authorities' primary issue was Facebook's compliance with the US government to provide data for its mass surveillance programs. After Edward Snowden's revelations on the US government's spying programs and how the tech industry complies, the issue has gained more gravity.

While Facebook complied with the ruling four years ago, the Berlin court now concludes that it merely changed the wording of the clause in question without changing the message that it conveyed. Meanwhile, the company defended itself saying that it had complied with the original ruling and was issued the fine because it couldn't implement the changes quickly enough.


 Offsite Article: Facebook Moments facial-recognition app launches in Europe...

Link Here 11th May 2016  full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy
facebook moments And rather sidesteps privacy concerns

See article from bbc.com


  Endangering porn stars...

German courts finds that Facebook's real name policy is illegal and a Belgian court tells Facebook to delete tracking data on people not signed up to Facebook

Link Here 17th February 2018  full story: Facebook Privacy...Facebook criticised for discouraging privacy

Facebook logoGermany

In a ruling of particular interest to those working in the adult entertainment biz, a German court has ruled that Facebook's real name policy is illegal and that users must be allowed to sign up for the service under pseudonyms.

The opinion comes from the Berlin Regional Court and disseminated by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, which filed the suit against Facebook. The Berlin court found that Facebook's real name policy was a covert way of obtaining users' consent to share their names, which are one of many pieces of information the court said Facebook did not properly obtain users' permission for.

The court also said that Facebook didn't provide a clear-cut choice to users for other default settings, such as to share their location in chats. It also ruled against clauses that allowed the social media giant to use information such as profile pictures for commercial, sponsored or related content.

Facebook told Reuters it will appeal the ruling, but also that it will make changes to comply with European Union privacy laws coming into effect in June.


Facebook has been ordered to stop tracking people without consent, by a court in Belgium. The company has been told to delete all the data it had gathered on people who did not use Facebook. The court ruled the data was gathered illegally.

Belgium's privacy watchdog said the website had broken privacy laws by placing tracking code on third-party websites.

Facebook said it would appeal against the ruling.

The social network faces fines of 250,000 euros a day if it does not comply.

The ruling is the latest in a long-running dispute between the social network and the Belgian commission for the protection of privacy (CPP). In 2015, the CPP complained that Facebook tracked people when they visited pages on the site or clicked like or share, even if they were not members.


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