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Europe Versus Facebook


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#1 iamlost

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 04:19 PM

To those of us in North America many features of European Union privacy law and regulation may seem strange if preferable. And that is acknowledging the differences I know between Canada and the US.

If you haven't heard of Max Schrems I expect that you will. And what you hear may well affect how sites, especially social media platforms behave.

24 year old student lights match: Europe versus Facebook, Kim Cameron's Identity Weblog, 13-October-2011.

Max is a 24 year old law student from Vienna with a flair for the interview and plenty of smarts about both technology and legal issues. In Europe there is a requirement that entities with data about individuals make it available to them if they request it. Thatís how Max ended up with a personalized CD from Facebook that he printed out on a stack of paper more than a thousand pages thick (see image below). Analysing it, he came to the conclusion that Facebook is engineered to break many of the requirements of European data protection. He argues that the record Facebook provided him finds them to be in flagrante delicto.

The logical next step was a series of 22 lucid and well-reasoned complaints that he submitted to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (Facebook states that European users have a relationship with the Irish Facebook subsidiary). This was followed by another perfectly executed move: setting up a web site
...then opened its own YouTube channel. ...found its way to reddit where it ended up on a couple of top ten lists. So many people applied for their own CDs that Facebook had to send out an email indicating it was unable to comply with the requirement that it provide the information within a 40 day period.

And there is more.

Very interesting reading.
And another illustration of the power that the internet provides the individual.
And the value of the data we so casually share about ourselves and others.

#2 glyn

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 04:48 PM

Good, long overdue but only a matter of time really. Too much information on human behaviour and personal interests not to warrant at least some degree of oversight by government bodies. Now whether that happens in practice or whether this is the moment that government starts to befriend Facebook, will be decided at the table.

Perhaps Facebook will just move back to the states.

#3 AbleReach

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 07:26 PM

My first thought was that if I was that kid's mom I'd be posting about him on Facebook. :lol:



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