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Privacy Groups Ask FTC For Facebook Investigation

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the dear-mark-letter dept.

Cloud 68

An anonymous reader writes "10 public-interest groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook's various business practices. This demand comes right after two similar ones this week: two U.S. congressmen asked the FTC to investigate how Facebook's cookies behave, and Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner has agreed to conduct a privacy audit of Facebook. Given that the social network's international headquarters is in Dublin, the latter is the more serious one as the large majority of the site's users could be affected."

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68 comments

Obligatory (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37584998)

LIKE

What are we expecting to find? (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585020)

Short of discovering that each of Facebook's datacenters is actually a vast, nearly empty, mausoleum, lit only by the unhallowed glow of Masonic runes drawn in the blood of innocents and the blinding glare of the all-seeing-eye atop the pyramid in the center; could there be any revelation about their privacy practices worse than those that can already be inferred from prior activity?

Re:What are we expecting to find? (1)

tech4 (2467692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585140)

I just hope someone at FBI and NSA remembered to notify FTC that it is their operation.

Re:What are we expecting to find? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585248)

Short of discovering that each of Facebook's datacenters is actually a vast, nearly empty, mausoleum, lit only by the unhallowed glow of Masonic runes drawn in the blood of innocents and the blinding glare of the all-seeing-eye atop the pyramid in the center; could there be any revelation about their privacy practices worse than those that can already be inferred from prior activity?

I'm pretty sure that this revelation would be better than what we can already infer about Facebook, actually.

Re:What are we expecting to find? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37586984)

It is quite possible that the "Facebook Beacon" 'feature' that debuted I-don't-even-remember-how-many privacy controversies ago, was simply the public face of the installation of the eye-pyramids in each location...

Re:What are we expecting to find? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37587800)

I don't think "short of" means what you think it means.

Re:What are we expecting to find? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586092)

I see you haven't traveled.

Re:What are we expecting to find? (1)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37589698)

I hope they find out what they're doing and make sure they aren't breaking the law. If what they're doing is nasty but not breaking the law, I hope they share it so to shame them into doing something about it. Of course, I'm not sure that will matter but I'm fine with that. I barely post anything on Facebook anyway for this reason.

Good, or not? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585086)

So, some politicos are going to investigate. They'll wave a magic wand of approval, or they'll wave a magic wand of disapproval. There's no way of knowing if this investigation will be good or bad. Maybe if we knew something about the individuals involved with the investigation, we could make some guesses.

Re:Good, or not? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585306)

Well, they need to put a little pressure if they want to ensure a solid flow of campaign donations.

Re:Good, or not? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585648)

Most likely what will happen is that a few Democratic congress critters will decide that FB is a significant threat to privacy beyond what one can reasonably expect and try to regulate it. Then the GOP will go apoplectic about ZOMG we can't regulate businesses, and prevent it from being elected.

Of course that assumes that there are enough politicians in favor to get it past in the House or voted on in the Senate.

Re:Good, or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586058)

You also thought Apple's 9th Circuit victory over Psystar's appeal was a free market victory so forgive me if I find your political commentary and forecast suspect.

Re:Good, or not? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587830)

I predict 100% stereotypical ranting from random people on the internet for both sides of the R vs. D debate.

Re:Good, or not? (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587458)

So, some politicos are going to investigate. They'll wave a magic wand of approval, or they'll wave a magic wand of disapproval.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that's not a wand they're waving....

Re:Good, or not? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587832)

And the waving is more likely to based in the direction of some interns...

Google is above such investigations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585116)

Perhaps because they already are publicly traded, or take a decent amount of government work. Somehow the Facebook wheels need to be greased.

Re:Google is above such investigations (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585218)

Google was already investigated by the Irish data protection commissioner when they wanted to launch streetview in ireland.

Re:Google is above such investigations (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585472)

Google was already investigated by the Irish data protection commissioner when they wanted to launch streetview in ireland.

Ireland is a tax haven for American corporations that don't want to pay their taxes. Consequently, if that gets Zuckerberg in a little hot water I'm all for it.

Re:Google is above such investigations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585892)

Bermuda is much better. Ireland is just trying to prop-up part of the EU, which is having problems staying together. Keeping the EU competitive probably requires that other countries do regulation like Ireland's, to become separate corporate tax havens. Corporations are a new form of government, and what we normally call the government is already bought and paid for. So, it is unlikely that they won't have things increasingly skewed in their favor, just so that countries survive with their debt.

Re:Google is above such investigations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37587420)

> Ireland is just trying to prop-up part of the EU

Err, the EU is currently keeping Ireland solvent. Perhaps you've misunderstood the news, so here it is: Ireland is broke.

Re:Google is above such investigations (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588112)

Ireland is just trying to prop-up part of the EU, which is having problems staying together

Guess what the I in PIGS (the group of European countries with problematic economies) stands for...

So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585186)

Are they just being cookie monsters and user trackers with their cookies and shoddy privacy policies, or are they actually committing crimes? What gives the various government groups, ones NOT in the executive branch, authority to conduct any of this?

Re:So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585252)

Um, the EU has pretty tough data protection and privacy laws. Notice the part in TFA about how they're looking into FB in Dublin?
Yeah, I know the UK doesn't consider itself to be EU, but still they have tougher laws than the US it seems. And the UK does have to have cross-agreements in place with the EU.

As far as US investigation goes, I'm willing to bet a bunch of public and private figures would be nervous about their browsing habits...

Re:So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585370)

Dublin is not in the UK.

Re:So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585402)

Yeah, I know the UK doesn't consider itself to be EU

Er, I don't think you do know that [europa.eu] . The larger party in our coalition government wants us out, as do most of the press, but we're still in at the moment, and there are still plenty of us who like it that way.

Re:So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586100)

Be that as it may, Dublin is in Ireland. Ireland is presently a completely independent country from the UK. Now, confusingly, the physical island of Ireland (sometimes called Hibernia) presently has two countries on it - Ireland, described as the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland. Only the latter is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The larger eastern island of Great Britain (sometimes called Britannia) has three countries on it - Scotland, Wales and England, and they're the rest of the UK (apart from various more minor territories and obscure remnants of colonies from the days of the British Empire).

In any case, on the whole, the Irish really don't like being confused with the British, especially not the English and nor do the British like being confused with the Irish, especially not the English. Actually, the non-English British don't like being confused with the English either.

Re:So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586900)

"the physical island of Ireland (sometimes called Hibernia) presently has two countries on it"

Almost right.
The physical island of Ireland (sometimes called Hibernia) presently still has UK occupation forces in parts of the Island and therefore Freedom Fighters (IRA, PIRA etc) are still fighting to make them leave.

Where do you think the FTC resides? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585414)

The Federal Trade Commission is part of the executive branch. You can look it up [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Where do you think the FTC resides? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37586768)

Justified by the power of Congress to "legislate trade between the States".

Re:So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586292)

PROTIP: Laws are for cattle.
Real people know by themselves what's right and wrong, and why.
So when something is clearly wrong, and there's no law... you make one!!
And if something is not wrong, and there is a law, you repeal it!
And the cattle follow.

That's how all laws have been made since forever. (Just that the one in charge often has a pretty egocentric system of values.)

And in my system of values, the following are crimes:
1. Selling all your information off to advertisers with no huge red warning sign filling out half the screen at the registration.
2. Deliberately being sneaky about the whole thing, hoping users don't realize.
3. Never deleting your data, even if you don't want to use them anymore.
4. Zuckerberg openly stating that "there is no privacy anymore". This is in the same category as denying the holocaust. (I'm obviously not saying they were equally bad! You know what I mean.)

And since I have a pretty strict policy with only one acceptable form of "punishment" being extradition (with the right to shoot him when he's trying to get in again), that would be my punishment.
So Zuckerberg and everyone else who collaborated out of every NATO nation (or something similarly all-encompassing) forever.
Including the Facebook servers, which would not be allowed to have any form of connection to anything in NATO states.

Oh, and everyone who made an account at Facebook before a time where he could excuse it with "I was pushed into being a social outcast, so I was forced to reluctantly make an account." should pay a small fine related to the amount and intimacy of the information he published on FB, or be extradited too. That money would go to improving the situation for everyone relating such problems.

Re:So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37586780)

This being an investigation they are trying to find answers to questions like the ones that you asked. What's wrong about that?

Re:So what actual LAWS are they breaking? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587836)

Do not let your common sense interfere with the workings of Slashdot. It would disrupt the Force and give Yoda indigestion.

Why not Google? (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585260)

I have never had a Facebook account, and never will, because they add absolutely zero value over private listservs, forums, blogs, and websites.

Google on the other hand, I use very much for searching and other services. And it seems to me that Google collects even more valuable information than Facebook.

So why aren't these groups going after Google? ....

Re:Why not Google? (1)

kqs (1038910) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585442)

One of them seems to sell your information to the highest bidder, regularly changes defaults to allow more sharing, and has many "partners" which grab your data and share if further.

The other one collects information and uses it to show you advertisements, but doesn't seem to do anything else with it, and actively goes after people exploiting loopholes. And also gives an incredible amount of support to open-source projects. And provides many free services which are often superior to "pay" alternatives.

The fact that people continually group the two in the same category shows that it doesn't matter how "well" a corporation behaves, people will still manufacture reasons to hate them. So your attitude encourages corporations to misbehave. Bravo.

Besides, Google is regularly investigated by both governments and by competitors via lawsuits (mostly SEO firms who are sad that Google closed their loopholes.) So in addition to being counter-productive, you are also incorrect. :-)

Re:Why not Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585498)

Nice little straw-man you built yourself there. Care to actually think a little more about what you just said?

Re:Why not Google? (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590550)

One of them seems to sell your information to the highest bidder...The other one collects information and uses it to show you advertisements, but doesn't seem to do anything else with it

Yes, public perception of the companies is part of the answer. Followup question: How much does Google spend on PR to help create that perception?

And provides many free services which are often superior to "pay" alternatives.

Yes, that's another part of the answer, actually the part that motivates my use of Google search, mail, maps, and a few other services. These "free" services are sufficiently valuable that I accept "paying" for them by giving up my privacy. This is a conscious personal choice.

The fact that people continually group the two in the same category shows that it doesn't matter how "well" a corporation behaves, people will still manufacture reasons to hate them.

Oops, now you've jumped into the deep end of the crazy pool. Radical emotions like "hate" have no place in a rational evaluation of costs & benefits of these companies' services. You seem to be one of those people who confuse corporations with real human beings...and have trouble thinking logically about either group.

When we look at an issue like privacy, we should hold all companies to the same baseline legal standards.

With that baseline protection behind us, we can judge their cost/benefit based on where they choose to play within the legal privacy space, and what other costs & benefits they have.

Besides, Google is regularly investigated by both governments and by competitors via lawsuits (mostly SEO firms who are sad that Google closed their loopholes.) So in addition to being counter-productive, you are also incorrect.

My question was why "these groups" (ie, the "10 public-interest groups" mentioned in the summary) are not going after Google as well.

If these groups are pursuing Google as well, please provide a reference. Otherwise, your point was???

Re:Why not Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585880)

"So why aren't these groups going after Google? ...."

I don't use google for searching for the very reasons you mention.

We - the computing public - have choices about these kinds of things. If we, en-masse, move to search engines that don't save your search history, then the ones that do (google) will die.

If we don't care, then we don't, and google and facebook will continue to invade our privacy.

It's ENTIRELY up to us.

Facebook and Google track everything you do (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585300)

I cancelled my Facebook account a few weeks back after their last round of changes. I have no intention of using it again. Both Facebook and Google track everything you do. I think both should get nailed. In all likelihood, some Congresscritters will be paid off and this investigation will go nowhere.

Re:Facebook and Google track everything you do (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585666)

I don't agree. Google keeps it's data to itself for the most part. The main reason is that it doesn't want people to know what algorithms its using to decide what ads to serve where. Plus, there's no reason for me to know what data there is that would be placing my ad in one place or another. The main thing that I would be caring about in that scenario is that it leads to enough click throughs to pay for the ads.

Re:Facebook and Google track everything you do (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585796)

Boohoo. I don't like social networks so I want the law to beat them up. Boohoo.
 
You need your diaper changed, cunt? Go fuck yourself you counterculture ass kisser. I've seen a ton of people like you and none of them do anything for themselves but piss and moan like a 95 year old bed ridden sack of shit. You have nothing to offer anyone but more noise.

Re:Facebook and Google track everything you do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586974)

childish behavior? check.
pissing and moaning? check.
nothing to offer? check.

Looks like you are the pot cussing out the kettle.

Re:Facebook and Google track everything you do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37587430)

random string of insults, check.
anonymous coward, check.

Looks like you're getting -5 troll.

Don't Use It (0)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585378)

If you have a problem with your privacy on Facebook then simply don't use it.

Re:Don't Use It (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585428)

The problem with that is that even if you have no FB account, they may still track you through the cookies built into their "like" buttons, spread around the internet.

Re:Don't Use It (1)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585482)

Although you can always turn off cookies. But I can't say I've done that lately to know how that would affect today's web experience like turning off JavaScript does.

Re:Don't Use It (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585678)

You can, but why should you have to? Entering a web page does not provide permission to be tracked by random companies just because the webmaster put the code into the page to make it so. There is no reasonable expectation that permission is being granted for such 3rd party tracking.

This is a bit like walking onto the premises of say Starbucks and being tracked by Walmart. You might be consenting to having Starbucks track transaction, but there's certainly no basis for Starbucks to believe that you're consenting to be tracked by Walmart.

Re:Don't Use It (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588082)

Then don't accept the GPS tracker that Walmart hands you as you walk in the door, ditch it when you exit Walmart and they will never track your Starbucks usage...

Which is basically exactly what is going on here - you accept a token from Facebook, and you give that token back whenever its asked for. All voluntarily.

Re:Don't Use It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586856)

For every Facebook "Like" or "Recommend" button, notice that ad.doubleclick.net, g.doubleclick.net, or similar is also present on that site.

Google is doing just as much tracking as Facebook may be. Throw the law books at both of them.

Re:Don't Use It (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587662)

Although you can always turn off cookies. But I can't say I've done that lately to know how that would affect today's web experience like turning off JavaScript does.

Switching off all cookies is overkill for the issue described by GP. If you're using Firefox, it's sufficient to install an add-on such as Facebook Blocker [mozilla.org] , which explicitly blocks all requests to Facebook which originate from non-Facebook sites. This obviously blocks tracking cookies from Facebook like-buttons on other sites, but does not interfere with your use of Facebook (if any; better to avoid Facebook sites completely).

I assume you already have a strategy for wiping LSO Flash objects ("super cookies"), such as Better Privacy [netticat.cx] or equivalent Firefox plugin. Some browsers don't need an add-on to do this. For instance in Opera, the delete private data action can also remove LSOs.

Re:Don't Use It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37588476)

Facebook Blocker [mozilla.org]

Not available for Firefox 7.0.1 and not available since before 4.

Re:Don't Use It (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588916)

Facebook Blocker [mozilla.org]

Not available for Firefox 7.0.1 and not available since before 4.

Maybe you should check your facts a little. They appear to be outdated, or just wrong...
On the PC I'm posting from (posting via Opera 11.51), I have Firefox 7.0.1, and on its Extensions page, it says I have Facebook Blocker 1.0 [mozilla.org] which was released on 26 July 2011. Both Firefox 7.0.1 and Facebook Blocker 1.0 say that it's enabled, BTW.

Re:Don't Use It (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37586174)

And they encourage the people you know who use Facebook to identify you in pictures ("Do you know this person? Tag the photo!"). Once a person has had a few friends tag them, there's probably a pseudo-account created for them. Don't be surprised if Facebook starts asking "How do you know XYZ? With your photo." of anyone tagged in photos you're tagged in (whether you have an account or not).

Re:Don't Use It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586320)

"they may still track you through the cookies built into their "like" buttons, spread around the internet"

Only if you allow them to. I know this is news to 99% of today's "digital native" youth, but you get to control your own computer. What information it requests and sends is up to YOU, not up to facebook. If you do not want to load FB's "like" button, then by all means, you are free not to. You're welcome to drop every packet to or from their domains on the floor.

Why is it that people today need their hands held for even the simplest operation of their computers? Is this the same mentality that leads people to eat a Big Mac at McDonalds every single meal and then wonder why they get fat, and demand that somebody do something? Just *don't eat there*. Don't load the FB button, if you'd rather not. It's YOUR computer, not theirs. It obeys you, not them.

Re:Don't Use It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37585984)

That's too hard for the kiddies today. They want someone to give them their cake, and when it isn't frosted in exactly the right color, they'll bitch, because of course they are *entitled*.

The idea of voting with their feet? Unthinkable. It's beyond anything they can understand.

Re:Don't Use It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37586180)

I read an article recently that stated 40% of HR departments in organizations are considering switching from old style resume job hunting to exclusively social media - including Facebook. Hopefully if that ever happens they'll regulate it heavily, but I'm not holding my breath with this administration.

Re:Don't Use It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37587818)

How stupid are you? That's like saying if you don't like the war in Iraq, don't fight it. I AM NOT! That doesn't mean it's not happening.

I hope they shut down failbook over their business model of abusing its users.

Re:Don't Use It (1)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588468)

How stupid are you? you're comparing apples and oranges.

with regard to websites we still have a choice to use it or not to use it.

yes - i know - peer pressure can be a bitch.

with regard to politicians ... well, it seems to be mostly decided by big money these days. which is why we have protests like "occupy wall street". we, the people, do not have a say anymore into if we want to go to war with a country or not. that is decided by forces beyond our control these days. sadly.

What for? (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37585758)

Why don't people just learn how to, you know, use the PRIVACY SETTINGS ALREADY IN PLACE instead of complaining to the government about a percieved privacy "issue"?

Re:What for? (1)

KXeron (2391788) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587488)

The privacy settings do not limit Facebook's own access to the data. Facebook can use the "magic" of the ToS to permit them to forward your data to anyone they please. As long as Facebook hosts the database, there's always the issue of them handing that data out.

Privacy Settings? Bwhahahahaha! Good one... (1)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587490)

Why don't people just learn how to, you know, use the PRIVACY SETTINGS ALREADY IN PLACE instead of complaining to the government about a percieved privacy "issue"?

Facebook's privacy settings are rendered useless at a regular basis when they decide to add new "features" requiring you to comb through and opt out of everything again. When I first created my account I went through and locked everything down in settings and since then have had to regularly hunt down leaks in my information because added something which enabled stuff all over again.

I'm this close to beginning a campaign to poison my information and start closing down my account...no really, I mean it! When I have to do more fiddling with Facebook's settings than I actually do reading or posting it stops being fun and becomes work. And who needs that?

Re:Privacy Settings? Bwhahahahaha! Good one... (0)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37588418)

for crying out loud!

it's their website, they can do with it whatever they damn well please.

and you decided by your own free will to sign up with facebook and you decided by your own free will to give them all your private information.

it's not your website, so you do not get to decide how things work.

if you don't like it - then simply setup your own website and stop using facebook.

Re:Privacy Settings? Bwhahahahaha! Good one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590904)

What is allowed and what is ethical are two entirely different things.

The way Facebook adds new things that break old privacy settings are borderline unethical. That is what these complains are all about.

Re:What for? (1)

Jbcarpen (883850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587526)

Because they keep changing which options are available, what the defaults are, and what the settings mean. Then they also reset to default when they change something. So if you want to have the privacy settings turned up in facebook then you need to check all the settings on a regular basis. You also need to not play any of the facebook games, since a lot of them are just given the same permissions with your account that you are. (unless they've "fixed" this last bit again. It's been how many times now?)

Why not Google? (1)

capsclothings (2475466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37587344)

Why not Google? Alter Relationship I have never had a Facebook account, and never will, because they add absolutely zero value over private listservs, forums, blogs, and websites. Google on the other hand, I use very much for searching and other services. And it seems to me that Google collects even more valuable information than Facebook. So why aren't these groups going after Google? ....http://www.caps-clothings.com

typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37587798)

This is just noise from the TWATTER lovers the see facebook as a threat to the TWATTER way of life sad bastards TWATTER == twitter for those of little brain across the pond .

 

In a Recent Argument ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590196)

In a recent argument I had with police, regarding my photos. They tried telling me anything posted on Facebook is

"Public Domain"

, and anything placed on the internet (in general),

"... the law is unclear on who exactly owns the photograph after it is published on the internet."

Which is a load of bollocks.

So I quoted them Facebook, "

2. Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings.

To which they replied,

"4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture)."

as their argument as to why it is in public domain. This is in spite of the fact that my photos are (and settings in general) are set to 'Friends Only'.

So, the officer I was arguing with basically interprets all 'photos' etc on facebook as being in the public domain. Even though my privacy settings are NOT set to public the officer in question claims they effectively are because the photos are on facebook. (I'm not going to publish the entire email exchange).

The fact that the law regards all content (or at least all MY content) on facebook as being 'Public Domain' even when Privacy settings are NOT public is a worry. Yes, I know, best not to have a facebook account. I did delete my account once before years ago, but the problem was my old school friends etc then didn't keep in contact as they lost the 'convenience' factor. Especially as a social network keeps everyone in one place and able to talk as a group rather than people having to take the time to 'email' each other.

Given that FB is HQ in Ireland (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591538)

In actuality, this is a Tax fiction, used to avoid taxation on their massive EU and US/Canada earnings, and there is pressure by the EEC, since Ireland's economy is failing due to lack of tax collection from the Rich and Corporations like FB, MSFT, etc, to restore tax levels to a more common historic level.

But this does not provide them with a legal defense against violating National Privacy rights, as any Scientologist in Germany knows.

It IS NONSENSE (1)

glorybe (946151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593000)

Bend over and let me deeply investigate your files, your communications and all of your employees or associates as you just might be in violation of my privacy. Anybody see and problem with that? Worse yet the right to privacy is left out of the Bill of Rights and this may be a great example of why no right to privacy is part of our Constitution to begin with.
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