Facebook Battles EU Over Data Privacy Issues

Facebook faces challenges from both the EU and the US about its handling of data from users. While the reasons given by coercive enterprises to justify an invasion of the social media universe may seem laudable, the motivations behind such invasions might not be as noble as one would imagine.
If, for instance, social media platforms choose to expose their users to invasions of privacy, it would seem the market can correct the problem itself through users choosing to leave that platform and switch to competing platforms that see an opportunity to offer privacy protections Facebook is failing to offer.
The state, however, is sure to come up with ‘solutions’ that will involve enabling the owners and managers of the coercive enterprise to use laws and regulations to control social media in a way that continues to protect them from open and free, and ‘fair’ competition.

From reuters.com

Facebook under pressure as US, EU urge probes of data practices

British privacy regulators are seeking a warrant to search the offices of the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica late Monday following reports that the company may have improperly gained access to data on 50 million Facebook users, according to a Channel 4 television report.

The move came as U.S. and European lawmakers demanded an explanation of how the consulting firm, which worked on President Donald Trump’s election campaign, gained access to the data. In the U.S., members of Congress called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about Facebook’s actions. (reut.rs/2pn8btD)

Facebook said on Monday it had hired forensic auditors from the firm Stroz Friedberg to investigate and determine whether Cambridge Analytica still had the data.

“Auditors from Stroz Friedberg were on site at Cambridge Analytica’s London office this evening,” the company said in a statement late Monday. “At the request of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which has announced it is pursuing a warrant to conduct its own on-site investigation, the Stroz Friedberg auditors stood down.”

Facebook shares closed down nearly 7.0 percent on Monday, wiping nearly $40 billion off its market value as investors worried that new legislation could damage the company’s advertising business.

“The lid is being opened on the black box of Facebook data practices, and the picture is not pretty,” said Frank Pasquale, a University of Maryland law professor who has written about Silicon Valley’s use of data.

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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv