Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

The German Federal Cartel Office’s decision to order Facebook to change how it processes users’ personal data this week is a sign the antitrust tide could at last be turning against platform power. One European Commission source we spoke to, who was commenting in a personal capacity, described it as “clearly pioneering” and “a big deal”, […]

Facebook warned over privacy risks of merging messaging platforms

Facebook’s lead data protection regulator in Europe has asked the company for an “urgent briefing” regarding plans to integrate the underlying infrastructure of its three social messaging platforms. In a statement posted to its website late last week the Irish Data Protection Commission writes: “Previous proposals to share data between Facebook companies have given rise […]

Facebook’s VPN app puts spotlight on kids’ consent

Facebook could face fresh scrutiny in Europe following a TechCrunch report on its use of a VPN app to monitor people’s smartphone activity — including teenagers as young as 13. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) told us it’s asked Facebook to provide more information on what data is collected via the market research program, codenamed ‘Project […]

Privacy campaigner Schrems slaps Amazon, Apple, Netflix, others with GDPR data access complaints

European privacy campaigner Max Schrems has filed a fresh batch of strategic complaints at tech giants, including Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Spotify and YouTube. The complaints, filed via his nonprofit privacy and digital rights organization, noyb, relate to how the services respond to data access requests, per regional data protection rules. Article 15 of Europe’s General […]

Most Facebook users still in the dark about its creepy ad practices, Pew finds

A study by the Pew Research Center suggests most Facebook users are still in the dark about how the company tracks and profiles them for ad-targeting purposes. Pew found three-quarters (74%) of Facebook users did not know the social networking behemoth maintains a list of their interests and traits to target them with ads, only […]

This early GDPR adtech strike puts the spotlight on consent

What does consent as a valid legal basis for processing personal data look like under Europe’s updated privacy rules? It may sound like an abstract concern but for online services that rely on things being done with user data in order to monetize free-to-access content this is a key question now the region’s General Data Protection […]

UK parliament seizes cache of internal Facebook documents to further privacy probe

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may yet regret underestimating a UK parliamentary committee that’s been investigating the democracy-denting impact of online disinformation for the best part of this year — and whose repeat requests for facetime he’s just as repeatedly snubbed. In the latest high gear change, reported in yesterday’s Observer, the committee has used parliamentary powers […]

Facebook appeals UK data watchdog’s £500K Cambridge Analytica fine

Facebook has said it will appeal a £500,000 penalty issued by the U.K.’s data watchdog this summer following a lengthy investigation into the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. Facebook told the regulator an estimated one million U.K. users were among the 87 million of its users whose private data was harvested by Dr. Aleksandr Kogan and his company […]

How a small French privacy ruling could remake adtech for good

A ruling in late October against a little-known French adtech firm that popped up on the national data watchdog’s website earlier this month is causing ripples of excitement to run through privacy watchers in Europe who believe it signals the beginning of the end for creepy online ads. The excitement is palpable. Impressively so, given […]

Now eight parliaments are demanding Zuckerberg answers for Facebook scandals

Facebook’s founder is facing pressure to accept an invite from eight international parliaments, with lawmakers wanting to question him about negative impacts his social network is having on democratic processes globally. Last week Facebook declined an invitation from five of these parliaments. The elected representatives of Facebook users want Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions in […]