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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)

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Mark Zuckerberg Not Going to Sell WhatsApp or Instagram

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker's call to break his company, saying he's not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram

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Mark Zukerberg, Facebook, Instagram, Sell, Business
Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process. VOA

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker’s call to break his company, saying he’s not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram at any cost.

Senator Josh Hawley (Missouri Republican) tweeted that he met Zuckerberg during his visit to Washington, DC on Thursday, and asked him to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Just finished meeting with @facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Had a frank conversation. Challenged him to do two things to show FB is serious about bias, privacy & competition. 1) Sell WhatsApp & Instagram 2) Submit to independent, third-party audit on censorship. He said no to both,” tweeted Hawley, one of Facebook’s biggest critics.

Zuckerberg also met President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

“Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of @Facebook in the Oval Office today,” tweeted Trump.

This is Facebook CEO’s first public trip to Washington since he testified before House and Senate committees in April last year over Cambridge Analytica data scandal affecting 87 million users globally.

According to media reports, Zuckerberg met several lawmakers this time and discussions included allegations that Facebook curtails conservative speech.

Mark Zukerberg, Facebook, Instagram, Sell, Business
Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a US lawmaker’s call to break his company, saying he’s not going to sell WhatsApp or Instagram at any cost. Pixabay

As the chorus grows to break up Facebook, the social networking platform’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently said that it won’t serve any purpose.

“You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don’t address the underlying issues people are concerned about,” she had said earlier.

Several US senators have called for breaking up the social network amid repeated data breaches and privacy violations on the platform.

ALSO READ: Scientists Reform Face Of Another Human Ancestor

Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, has stressed that authorities should take a serious look at breaking up Facebook as the social network platform is a “utility that has gone unregulated”.

Another Democratic 2020 candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has also stressed upon the possibility of breaking up Facebook.

Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process. (IANS)