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Websites Using Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button Liable for Data: EU Court

Facebook said in a statement that “We are carefully reviewing the court’s decision and will work closely with our partners to ensure they can continue to benefit from our social plugins and other business tools in full compliance with the law,” reports CNET

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Facebook, Data, Privacy
FILE - The entrance sign to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Oct. 10, 2018. VOA

Europe’s top court on Monday said websites using Facebook “Like” button are liable for data as “Like” button plugins can transmit data back to Facebook even if they don’t click on those buttons.”

The operator of a website that features a Facebook ‘Like’ button can be a controller jointly with Facebook in respect of the collection and transmission to Facebook of the personal data of visitors to its website,” said the Court of Justice of European Union (ECJ) in its ruling.

The Luxembourg-based court looked into the case of “Fashion ID”, a German online clothing retailer, which embedded on its website the Facebook ‘Like’ button.

The consequence of embedding that button appears to be that when a visitor consults the website of Fashion ID, that visitor’s personal data are transmitted to Facebook Ireland.

“It seems that that transmission occurs without that visitor being aware of it and regardless of whether or not he or she is a member of the social network Facebook or has clicked on the ‘Like’ button,” said the ruling.

Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

A German public-service association tasked with safeguarding the interests of consumers criticised “Fashion ID” for transmitting to Facebook Ireland personal data of visitors to its website, first, without their consent and, second, in breach of the duties to inform set out in the provisions relating to the protection of personal data.

The court held that “Fashion ID” cannot be considered to be a controller in respect of the operations involving data processing carried out by Facebook Ireland after those data have been transmitted to the latter.

“It seems, at the outset, impossible that Fashion ID determines the purposes and means of those operations. By contrast, Fashion ID can be considered to be a controller jointly with Facebook Ireland in respect of the operations involving the collection and disclosure by transmission to Facebook Ireland of the data at issue,” read the judgment.

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Fashion ID’s embedding of the Facebook ‘Like’ button on its website allows it to optimise the publicity for its goods by making them more visible on the Facebook social network when a visitor to its website clicks on that button.

Facebook said in a statement that “We are carefully reviewing the court’s decision and will work closely with our partners to ensure they can continue to benefit from our social plugins and other business tools in full compliance with the law,” reports CNET. (IANS)

Next Story

US Judge Orders Facebook to Disclose Malicious Apps’ Data: Report

The social networking giant found that the apps -- primarily social media management and video streaming apps -- retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface)

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

As part of a probe ordered in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users, a US judge has ordered Facebook to hand over data of thousands of apps that violated its user privacy.

Facebook admitted last year that it suspended “tens of thousands” of apps for possible privacy violations.

A Massachusetts judge rejected the social networking giant’s attempts to withhold the key details from state investigators, The Washington Post said in a report on Friday.

“We are disappointed that the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Court didn’t fully consider our arguments on well-established law. We are reviewing our options, including appeal,” a Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone was quoted as saying in the report.

Maura Healey, the Democratic Attorney General of Massachusetts, said: “We are pleased that the Court ordered Facebook to tell our office which other app developers may have engaged in conduct like Cambridge Analytica.”

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The state of Massachusetts launched the probe last September after Facebook admitted that it had suspended “tens of thousands” of apps on its platform as a result of its review on privacy practices launched following the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

The review, launched in 2018, followed revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users and included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a Facebook statement.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in a record-breaking, $5 billion fine for Facebook from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Also Read: I Fall in Love with India Every Time I Return Here: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

In November 2019, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface). (IANS)