Tuesday December 11, 2018
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France orders Facebook to stop sending user data to US

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London: The French data protection authority asked Facebook, the social networking giant to stop sending user data to the US and follow the European data protection law.

According to a report in technology website Tech Crunch, the company has been given three months to make the changes deemed necessary by the data protection authority CNIL and failing to do so will incur heavy fines.

Specifically, the data protection agency is unhappy that FB collects the browsing activity of internet users who do not have a Facebook account.

“The company does not inform Internet users that it sets a cookie on their terminal when they visit a Facebook public page (page of a public event or of a friend). This cookie transmits to Facebook information relating to third-party websites offering Facebook plug-ins (e.g. Like button) that are visited by Internet users,” the CNIL notice read.

According to the notice, It collects user data concerning sexual orientation, religious and political views “without the explicit consent of account holders”. Nor does it inform users on the sign up form “with regard to their rights and the processing of their personal data”.

The company is also accused of using the now illegal “Safe Harbor” data transfer mechanism – a longstanding trans-Atlantic data transfer agreement that was invalidated by the European Court of Justice last year, the report added.

According to a Facebook spokesperson, “We are confident that we comply with European Data Protection law and look forward to engaging with the CNIL to respond to their concerns.”

According to CNIL, it has made its notice against FB public due to “the seriousness of the violations and the number of individuals concerned by the Facebook service”.

Facebook has more than 30 million users in France.

The social networking giant is facing several privacy-related probes in Europe.

In November, a Belgian court ordered the company to stop using cookies to track the web activity of its users.

As well as investigations by the French and Belgian authorities, it is also being probed by Spanish, Dutch and German (Hamburg) data protection authorities.(IANS)

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Facebook Must End Far Right’s Fundraising: British Leader

In recent years, Facebook has suffered sustained criticism over its handling of a series of crises, including interference during the US presidential election 2016 and the Brexit vote, allowing dissemination of hate speech and a data breach affecting millions of users

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Facebook, data
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook CEO must put an end to far-right activists’ fundraising on the social networking platform, said British Labour leader Tom Watson, while criticising Mark Zuckerberg for having a “contempt for social responsibility”, the media reported.

According to a Guardian report, Tommy Robinson, a British far-right activist with more than 1 million followers on Facebook, has been receiving financial, political and moral support from a hidden global network of US thinktanks, right-wing Australians and Russian trolls.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds through online donations, some via the social network.

Although Facebook has disabled Robinson’s access to the donate tool, meant to be reserved for charities alone, but supporters visiting Robinson’s Facebook profile continued to be directed towards his website where they could make donations through a form, the British daily reported on Saturday.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the action.

“We have removed the “Donate Now” button from this page. This function is only available for pages that list themselves as a “charitable organisation” and allows them to link to an external webpage of their choice. As this page is for a person we have now removed this,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Facebook is Robinson’s main social network after Twitter suspended him for claiming “Islam promotes killing people” in March, the report claimed.

In a blog post, Watson wrote: “Today I call on him to give a full explanation of how this dire breach of Facebook regulation occurred, pledge that it will never happen again, and, as an apology, make a match-fund donation to Hope Not Hate (a UK-based advocacy group).

Facebook should be ashamed that it had enabled Robinson’s efforts to “divide communities and stoke up hate”, said Matthew McGregor, Hope Not Hate’s campaigns director.

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“Facebook has continually failed to deal with the fact that their platform is vulnerable to exploitation by extremists, until after it is too late. Warm words after the damage is done don’t help reverse the damage caused,” he added.

In recent years, Facebook has suffered sustained criticism over its handling of a series of crises, including interference during the US presidential election 2016 and the Brexit vote, allowing dissemination of hate speech and a data breach affecting millions of users. (IANS)