Social media has become such a big part of our culture that we don’t even mind having all of our personal data collected and used by third parties. We understood that we’re not really that affected by this, except when it comes to targeted commercials or ads. Well, some European Union members aren’t really ok with that, as France threatens Facebook to stop tracking non-users.
Hopefully this isn’t new for you, but yes, Facebook does track the data of pretty much anyone that clicks on any link related to the social media outlet. You don’t need to have an account, and you don’t need to consent to anything. Facebook collects and uses all user data it can reach on the Internet.
The good news is that the company doesn’t use it for some nefarious purpose; it just helps customize all the ads and commercials you see on the Internet, making them relevant to you. But some are understandably distraught by this, as they didn’t agree to their data being collected.
One group militating for this matter is France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, or CNIL, and it published a 17 page paper documenting Facebook’s data mining procedures, followed by them giving the social media outlet a three month ultimatum.
If Facebook doesn’t stop with their data mining practices in three months, the CNIL says that they liable to be fined as much as $168,000 (that’s 150,000 euros). This is because according to the Commission, Facebook has no rights to the data of unregistered users.
The main concern is that the company is sending data related to sexual orientation, religion, and other very personal information back to the United States, despite the fact that the law allowing them to do this was nullified in 2015.
A representative from Facebook, on the other hand, said that protecting the privacy of their customers is at the heart of everything they do, and that the company is in fact in line with the European Data Protection law.
Future meetings will most likely help the two parties reach an understanding.
Something similar happened with Belgium sometime last year, as the Belgium Privacy Commission required the same things from Facebook. The company complied, but Belgian users ended up with a number of restrictions and extra security measures.
Meanwhile, both parties are abstaining from further statements until a meeting can be organized, so that both parties reach a favorable agreement.
Image source: Wikimedia