Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Facebook Inc Privacy Policies Questioned in Europe

This might make you feel a little uneasy. 

A report commissioned by Belgian Privacy Commission and prepared by Brendan Van Alsenoy, Valerie Derdoodt, Rob Heyman, Jef Ausloos, Ellen Wauters and Gunes, Acar really gets to the bottom of Facebook's revised policies and terms with regard to privacy and  how Facebook "combines" and "shares" data about it's users.

The conclusion was that Facebook tracks people when they are not logged in as well as tracking people who don't even have a facebook account

Facebook's new Data Use Policy and Terms of Service released on 30th of January 2015 authorises itself to :-
1.  Track it's users across websites and devices
2.  Use profile pictures for both commercial and non-commercial purposes and
3.  collect information about it's users whereabouts on a continuous basis.

The DUP seems to be rather "vague" in certain areas and of course, intrepretation of wording can be ambiguous.

The overall inference is that Facebook is acting in violation of European law.

It is estimated (statistics by Craig Smith - DMR publisher) that there are currently 1.393 billion monthly active users on Facebook, with 72% of adults visiting at least once a month and 890 million daily users. 

Facebook also collects data from every page that belongs to, so if you visit and click "like" your actions are tracked. With Facebook owning Whatsapp and Instagram and pooling all this information, Facebook has incredible deep and detailed information on the masses.

You may think you are safe from being tracked as to you whereabouts if you have turned off Facebook's access to location data, but think again.  Pictures taken with smartphones, for example, often contain location information as metadata. As a result, location data may be shared indirectly when uploading pictures to Facebook. Combined with features such as facial recognition, it is fairly easy to pinpoint the location of specific individuals to specific locations in time.

If you are seriously worried about your privacy and how your pictures and data may be used for advertising purposes, then it seems the only choice is "take it or leave it".  If you do not accept the terms and conditions you can no longer use Facebook.

Please read the full article including the report here:-

Please feel free to leave your comments!

The Merlin Team

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