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British Campaigner Sues Facebook Over Fake Ads

British campaigner to sue Facebook over fake ads

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Zuckerberg seeks more time to fix Facebook. Pixabay
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British consumer campaigner Martin Lewis is suing Facebook for defamation after dozens of fake advertisements bearing his name were published on the social media platform.

The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com — a British consumer finance information website — said that at least 50 fake ads bearing his name appeared on the social media platform, causing reputational damage to him, BBC reported late on Sunday.

Lewis is due to lodge court papers at the High Court for a defamation case against Facebook on Monday. He is seeking damages but pledged that the money would go to anti-scam charities, the report noted.

Several advertisements allegedly show his face alongside endorsements that he has not made.

Representational image for Facebook.
Representational image. Pixabay

“These adverts tout schemes with titles such as Bitcoin code and Cloud Trader which, according to Lewis, are fronts for binary trading firms outside the European Union (EU),” BBC said.

Binary trading is a form of financial transaction which British financial regulatory body Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned consumers against.

According to Lewis, a woman had spent 100,000 pounds ($140,000) in “a binary trading nightmare” that had attached his name to its advertising.

“I get about five messages a day from people saying, ‘I’ve just seen your Bitcoin ad and wanted to check it.’ If that is the number who get through to me, how many more must be just taken in?” Lewis was quoted as saying.

Also Read: Facebook introduces new privacy updates for EU users

He said Facebook had failed to stop the adverts despite his complaints and action.

“It is consistent, it is repeated. Other companies who have run these adverts have taken them down. What is particularly pernicious about Facebook is that it says the onus is on me, so I have spent time and effort and stress repeatedly to have them taken down,” he said.

Meanwhile, Facebook said the misleading ads are not allowed and any reported are removed.  IANS

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The European Union Warns Facebook Over Consumer’s Data Usage

Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.

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EU
Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration. VOA

The European Union’s consumer protection chief said Thursday she’s growing impatient with Facebook’s efforts to improve transparency with users about their data, warning it could face sanctions for not complying.

EU Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova turned up the pressure on the social media giant, saying she wants the company to update its terms of service and expects to see its proposed changes by mid-October so they can take effect in December.

EU
European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova attends an interview with Reuters at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. VOA

“I will not hide that I am becoming rather impatient because we have been in dialogue with Facebook almost two years and I really want to see, not the progress — it’s not enough for me — but I want to see the results,” Jourova said.

The EU wants Facebook to give users more information about how their data is used and how it works with third party makers of apps, games and quizzes.

“If we do not see the progress the sanctions will have to come,” she said. She didn’t specify punishment, saying they would be applied by individual countries. “I was quite clear we cannot negotiate forever, we just want to see the result.”

The EU has been pressing the U.S. tech company to look at what changes it needs to make to better protect consumers and this year Facebook has had to adapt to new EU data protection rules. The concerns took on greater urgency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal erupted, in which data on 87 million Facebook users was allegedly improperly harvested.

Jourova said she hopes Facebook will take more responsibility for its nearly 380 million European users.

“We want Facebook to be absolutely clear to its users about how their service operates and makes money,” she said.

EU
An advertisement in The New York Times is displayed on Sunday, March 25, 2018, in New York. Facebook’s CEO apologized for the Cambridge Analytica scandal with ads in multiple U.S. and British newspapers. VOA

Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.

The company said it “will continue our close cooperation to understand any further concerns and make appropriate updates.”

Jourova also said U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers.

Airbnb has promised to be fully transparent by either including extra fees in the total price for a booking quoted on its website or notifying users that they might apply, she said.

 

EU
U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers. Flickr

The company is complying with EU demands spurred by concerns that consumers could be confused by its complicated pricing structure, which could add unexpected costs such as cleaning charges at the end of a holiday.

Airbnb is also changing its terms of service to make it clear that travelers can sue their host if they suffer personal harm or other damages. That’s in response to complaints that its booking system can leave tourists stranded if the rental is canceled when all other arrangements have been already made.

Also Read: EU Regulators Question Online Retailer Amazon’s Data Usage

Airbnb said “guests have always been aware of all fees, including service charges and taxes, before booking listings,” and will work with authorities to make it even clearer. (VOA)