Facebook Given Short Notice to Stop Breaching Privacy
A consumer group in Germany has alleged over Facebook App Center about violating privacy laws.
According to the Washington Post, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations has given Facebook one week to stop automatically giving user information to third-party applications without explicit consent.
Legal action is possibly to Facebook, if these solutions are not met to fix privacy flaws, by September 4, 2012.
According to the New York Times about two week ago, “The company’s use of analytic software to compile photographic archives of human faces, based on photos uploaded by Facebook’s members, has been problematic in Europe, where data protection laws require people to give their explicit consent to the practice.”
Officials say this investigation and alleged charges are related to the Google Street View investigation, and similar actions can be taken, if necessary, to resolve the problem.
For the App Center, it’s put in place, some speculate, to help the Facebook mobile market and increase revenue for the company. With its competition against Apple or Android stores, it’s trying to gain attention quickly as an app store itself.
What makes governments and privacy experts nervous, is when Facebook developers make users opt-out, instead of opt-in. This means that new, potentially problematic, features are turned on by default. This requires too much work on the user, and an unfair advantage for Facebook.
- Facebook given one week to stop breaching privacy laws (nakedsecurity.sophos.com)
- German consumer group sets Facebook privacy ultimatum (reuters.com)
- Facebook’s new app bazaar ‘violates’ punters’ privacy – lobbyists (go.theregister.com)