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Crime Facebook Privacy Social Networks Your Rights Online

Facebook Hit By German Antitrust Probe Over User Data (cnet.com) 43

Regulators in Germany wonder whether the social network may be abusing market power by not being clear with consumers about how its using their data. Privacy advocates have argued that Facebook, along with a handful of other companies, is leveraging its dominance as a social network to harvest personal information, effectively trampling on privacy laws. The German probe, announced today, will investigate the violation of data protection provisions.
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Facebook Hit By German Antitrust Probe Over User Data

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  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @05:23PM (#51624639) Homepage Journal
    Just don't join or use FaceBook?

    Simple..easy to do. And hey, you might even make closer, better friends in meatspace, by you know..actually talking to them in person, and doing things with them...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sure, until they find out you're not on Facebook, wonder what kind of sociopathic weirdo you are, and find an awkward excuse to move on.
      • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

        At which point I thank them for self-identifying themselves as someone not worth spending my personal time with.

        • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
          Works both ways. I think unironic use of a phrase like "self-identifying themselves as someone not worth spending my personal time with" would be enough to send a lot of people the other direction. But hey you're cool with that, because you only hang out with fellow badasses that don't have social network accounts. ;)
          • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

            I got tired of the trolls and the orgy of mis-information. If you think less of me because I prefer not to waste my time sifting though the deluge of tripe then I don't have to consent to your presence.

            Cya. :)

      • Sure, until they find out you're not on Facebook, wonder what kind of sociopathic weirdo you are, and find an awkward excuse to move on.

        So far.....not a problem at all.

        It actually makes for a funny conversation tool....I joke that they just met one of the last 3 guys on earth that isn't on FB, usually gets a laugh and we go from there.

        I have no problem getting emails or phone numbers of folks I meet for later contact.

        I am pondering at some point *maybe* trying to get on FB, as that it would be good for

    • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @05:42PM (#51624799) Homepage
      That's exactly the problem, it only takes two known idiots like a cousin in Denmark and a sister in The Netherlands that upload their address book and you're in.

      Meaning I got a mail from Farcebook inviting me to join 'my friends' as part of their harvest.
      At least the second mail had a link to a place where I could 'unsubscribe' from further contacts.

      At the same time I'm sure they've assembled a file on me including tagged photo's and whatever that I don't ever want to share with them.

      I am all for a legal demand they wipe these sort of unsolicited entries in their databases and if ever someone starts a legal proceeding to that effect I'll be happy to contribute.
    • by TroII ( 4484479 )

      Just don't join or use FaceBook? Simple..easy to do.

      They're tracking you anyway and building a shadow profile about you. All those "Share this on Facebook" links that permeate the web are phoning home to Facebook with the URLs of the sites you visit, and they're compiling a dossier of all your history. Cross reference once or twice with a database they rent from Doubleclick or wherever and they know exactly who you are. Even if you think you don't have a Facebook account, you do: you just haven't claimed it yet.

      Belgium has recently made this practice illegal

    • Just don't join or use FaceBook?

      Simple..easy to do. And hey, you might even make closer, better friends in meatspace, by you know..actually talking to them in person, and doing things with them...

      Have you ever heard of Facebook shadow profiles [1]? Maybe it's not as easy as not signing up or quitting. Because they will still profile you. Forever. Just think of Facebook as the metastasized version of the government files on you.

      [1] http://www.digitaltrends.com/s... [digitaltrends.com]

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )

        Of course he has not. He's being his usual opinionated self, missing most of the facts, but so sure in his awesomeness that he's judging and condemning away regardless.

      • Have you ever heard of Facebook shadow profiles [1]? Maybe it's not as easy as not signing up or quitting. Because they will still profile you. Forever. Just think of Facebook as the metastasized version of the government files on you.

        NoScript works pretty well....

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      What an original point. Did you come up with that one yourself? Go outside and play, stop staring at that screen. Genius.
  • Obvious? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Facebook is "harvesting" user data? Isn't that the #1 most obvious point when signing up to Facebook in the first place? Which idiot in the world doesn't know this already?

  • May be abusing market power? That's their whole business model.
  • Didn't Zuckerberg cut the deal with Merkel to censor some stuff? I figured this would be pro quo for the quid.
    • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

      The cartel authority is independent of the government and Merkel. It is operation on its own. Every time someone is building a monopoly or even worse abusing their market power, they investigate them. As a result they can add extra regulations on your business.

  • Hostage (Score:3, Interesting)

    by neghvar1 ( 1705616 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @05:53PM (#51624897)
    Considering whats going on with Facebook in Germany and Brazil, if I was the CEO, I'd say release our execs (Brazil) and cease your draconian regulations (Germany) or we will block all access to Facebook from your country. When your citizens try to access Facebook, they will be redirected to a site stating to contact your government to release our execs and cease their draconian regulation or you will never see Facebook again.
    • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

      First, if some guy working for FB in Brazil did something illegal, he gets arrested. If a company tries to force a government to hinder police and courts to do their work then this would no longer be a free and democratic country. Second, FB is investigated by the cartel authority over market power abuse. Many companies get investigated for many different things, like VW for rigging cars. Sometimes they get caught and have to pay for it. For example, IBM was forced let another company write the OS for their

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      You think a country that once had a secret service with files on everyone is going to be sympathetic to your complaint about laws forbidding you from doing the same?

      Germans like their privacy laws. If Facebook forces them to choose, I doubt they will pick Facebook.

      • You think a country that once had a secret service with files on everyone is going to be sympathetic to your complaint about laws forbidding you from doing the same?

        Yeah, Facebook should be fucking scared about operating in the USA.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Germany does not need Facebook, but Facebook needs Germany. You have been listening to the likes of Trump too much.

  • More like is.

    Data privacy is the law.

    By the way, just because I'm American doesn't mean I don't have rights from another country, like Canada with strong privacy in the Constitution or any EU country.

    Enforceable by Treaty. Which the US didn't have to sign.

    But did.

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