Facebook Back on the Defensive, Now Over Data Deals With Device Makers

Posted in: Surveillance & Privacy at 05/06/2018 12:58

Facebook endured a new wave of criticism from lawmakers and regulators in the United States and Europe on Monday after disclosures that the social media giant had allowed dozens of hardware manufacturers access to its trove of personal user data.

Just months after being forced to explain its privacy measures and pledging reforms in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook found itself on the defensive once again, fending off questions about whether company executives had misled elected officials and why it had not fully disclosed the data-sharing agreements during recent testimony in the United States and Europe.

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Facebook Scandal Not Isolated Case, U.K. Privacy Chief Warns
Facebook Inc.’s privacy missteps could be mirrored across other online platforms, according to a warning to European Union lawmakers from the head of the British data-protection watchdog leading a probe into the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Asked by members of the European Parliament if what happened was an isolated case, Elizabeth Denham, who is spearheading the investigations, said it wasn’t.

Facebook is under fire and may face fines — again — for potentially mishandling users’ data
Facebook’s arrangements with Amazon.com, Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung allowing their devices to access data from the social network’s users could further expose Facebook to steep fines and other penalties, experts said.

The practice -- which may have occurred without users’ full knowledge -- drew sharp rebukes Monday from lawmakers who said Facebook has misled them about the way it collects and swaps consumers’ data. And it could spark additional scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which is already investigating Facebook for recent privacy mishaps.

Apple Ups Privacy Controls in Growing Spat With Facebook
Apple Inc. executives rarely call out Facebook Inc., but they made more moves on Monday to limit the social network’s data collection.

In iPhone, iPad, and Mac software updates later this year, Apple’s default Safari web browser will show a pop-up window asking users for permission before loading share buttons from social networks including Facebook. These buttons make it easy to share web content, but they also let social networks collect user data -- something Apple has been cracking down on in recent years.

Apple jams Facebook's web-tracking tools
Apple will attempt to frustrate tools used by Facebook to automatically track web users, within the next version of its iOS and Mac operating systems.

"We're shutting that down," declared Apple's software chief Craig Federighi, at the firm's developers conference.

He added that the web browser Safari would ask owners' permission before allowing the social network to monitor their activity.

Legal guide on how to apply new data protection rules
The European Union and the Council of Europe have reviewed their legal frameworks for the protection of personal data to keep pace with changes in this fast-moving area. Building on the popular practical handbook on European data protection law, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Council of Europe and the European Data Protection Supervisor have just published an update as the EU’s new data protection rules take effect and the modernised text of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108 has just been adopted.

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