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Upcoming EU Data Law Will Make Europe Tricky For Social Networks

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-information dept.

Facebook 168

Thorfinn.au writes "EU politicians are mulling new data protection laws that could make Europe a hostile place for social networks. The EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding and the German Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Ilse Aigner drew up proposals for the new data protection law which reads: 'EU law should require that consumers give their explicit consent before their data are used. And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves. We both believe that companies who direct their services to European consumers should be subject to EU data protection laws. Otherwise, they should not be able to do business on our internal market. This also applies to social networks with users in the EU.'"

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That would also make it awkward for search engines (3, Insightful)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009844)

...Such as Google. Given that information posted on social networks is generally searchable, that information, once cached, is very, very difficult to erase.

See: Wayback Machine. I've used this wonderful site myself, very recently, to grab snapshots of a website I helped set up in 1997 (kitbag.com, which sells sportswear), to show someone something (which was relevant to the conversation at the time, I can't remember now what that was all about even though it wasn't two weeks ago...). Said site now uses php, I believe; way back then it was coded in ASP.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (3, Informative)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009902)

That would also make it awkward for search engines such as Google. Given that information posted on social networks is generally searchable, that information, once cached, is very, very difficult to erase.

See: Wayback Machine. I've used this wonderful site myself, very recently, to grab snapshots of a website I helped set up in 1997 (kitbag.com, which sells sportswear), to show someone something (which was relevant to the conversation at the time, I can't remember now what that was all about even though it wasn't two weeks ago...). Said site now uses php, I believe; way back then it was coded in ASP.

This only means that Google would have to respond to a takedown request directly from the person who owned the profile (or their heirs) -- they wouldn't be responsible for a request made to Facebook to delete data, because they would not receive a copy of that request. As for the data already cached, Facebook et al are going to have to do some major purging AND send search engines a request to do the same. Until they do, Google should not have to purge anything since they didn't originally collect it. Now this data protection act WOULD apply to Google+, but not so much to the search engine.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009958)

(Bad form to reply to myself, but I just thought of this.)

Google+ is still in beta. It is still within the realm of possibility that Google could comply by nuking ALL their stored data and making everyone build a new profile. Facebook would probably suffer badly if they decided to go this route.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009988)

Could they legally do that? Not having read the TOU nor am I up on current US IP regs... I would think though, as a sane man probably would (I make no absolute claim to sanity), that stapling "BETA" to a product and adding something to the TOU *would* cover them in this case... I could be dead wrong and stand to be corrected.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (4, Insightful)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010236)

You make it sound like google has some kind of legal obligation to keep your g+ data alive. Had you PAID for their services you might have a leg to stand on, but at this point they're just being nice by NOT purging it!

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (1, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010332)

good point, and well played.

Another I just thought of is the fact that any decision taken in Europe will not apply to the UK. It is well established case law (recent decisions and reason by Judge LJ [localgover...wyer.co.uk] repeated from previous decisions such as those of Baroness Hale of Richmond and Sir Nicolas Wall, President of the Family Division of the High Court) that EU Law does not supercede UK domestic Law*. The UK currently does not have any specific legislation on the *destruction* by request, of personally identifiable data, only the security and maintenance of same. It does, however, stipulate that any such data is accurate and kept up to date.

* ECHR decisions are read as advisories in the RCJ, the High Court and Supreme Court of the UK, nothing more, and when convenient (which is most of the time) completely ignored. I have sat in on cases where this has occurred, and left the building having been sick a little in front of the Judge.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (5, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010668)


Another I just thought of is the fact that any decision taken in Europe will not apply to the UK. It is well established case law (recent decisions and reason by Judge LJ [localgover...wyer.co.uk] repeated from previous decisions such as those of Baroness Hale of Richmond and Sir Nicolas Wall, President of the Family Division of the High Court) that EU Law does not supercede UK domestic Law*.

EU law does not superceede any national law in any country (well, perhaps with very few exceptions which I not aware off).
The EU law system works like this: every new EU law is basically "reference" for wich the participating countries craft a similar national law. For that they usually have a grace period of about 5 years.
And: the UK do the same, they also incorporate EU laws by issuing the relevant national laws.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010930)

"well played" ?

STFU you idiot troll. this legislation is what's needed in the united states, you're a complete fucking idiot.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011270)

Uh, what? EU directives absolutely do affect UK law. The ECHR is completely irrelevant to this, because it is from the Council of Europe, which has nothing to do with the EU. Your argument makes as much sense as saying that the fact that the USA PATRIOT Act doesn't apply in the UK is evidence that EU laws don't apply in the UK.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (2, Interesting)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010096)

If you chose to delete your google+ account, it says it'll "try and destroy all data".

Keyword, try - I deleted mine, no idea if they really destroyed anything, but it says there was no way to recover my account if I went through with it.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009914)

Google (as in the search engine) would probably not come under the scope of these laws; they merely forward information received from another source. Compliance with data protection laws is the responsibility of the database maintainer, which in this case would be the social network site. Google would have some responsibilities, but generally they comply with these anyway (not showing data to somebody who couldn't access it directly being the main one).

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009924)

I have had issues with Google myself and they were not interested in taking any action. I posted some comments to a BBC web site but due to the way the page was laid out the snippet presented in the Google search results was actually the half-baked half-xenophobic comment of the next person. Google's attitude was that the only way to get the information removed would be to have the BBC do it.

In the end I contacted the BBC and rather than fix the page they just deleted it. There goes some otherwise useful content.

data protection and guns (was: wayback machine) (3, Interesting)

beh (4759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010116)

The wayback machine is a wonderful thing, yes... But a positive example doesn't negate a negative one.

Guns are a good thing - they really helped that one time in the forest when a bear attacked you. They just sucked badly, when a good friend got shot.

Cigarettes are a good thing, because they make you look 'cool' - until lung cancer sets in, at which case, cigarettes probably weren't quite as cool.

The wayback machine is nice to look at some of your old work - but the wayback machine also allows you to remove your site from it - not an individual page or version, yes, but at least it does give you _some_ way to keep a lid on your data.

But picture the bad side - you post something bad about a friend (after a fight you've had). Later you feel sorry for it - and you want to remove it; and you find, you can't.

Another bad side may also be when you change opinions on something over time, and people find pages of you arguing 'the other side' - maybe you were against abortion at some point, now your pro abortion - and some of your pro-abortion friends might find pages of you advocating against (or vice versa).

There are certainly things I argued 20 years back (_on the net_) that are still visible, but that I now see fallacies of. And I have no chance of removing the old comments. If you discuss something just among friends, you can, at least, hope that they'll forget it over time - or that they will also see how your change of heart comes about and therefore ignore what you said before.
On the net, you don't have that choice.

You may now argue, that people should think better before they post - but how often do you read the "How to avoid beginner's mistakes on XYZ", _before_ making some of them?
In my case, 20 years ago, I wouldn't have thought that that data would still be around now; at least, not publicly - at the time, I just didn't think it was feasible storage-wise to keep it all. Now I know different.

Today you might be thinking - well, whatever I post, I don't think anyone will be able to find it 10 years from now - but you're basing that thinking on technology that you see today; and you might think google will not have an easy time finding what you said 10 years ago, so it will not manage to do that 10 years from now, either. On the other hand, in those 10 years, technology will grow leaps and bounds - maybe in 10 years, you can just click on a photo of someone on the internet, and just right-click and select 'personal history' and the future google dredges up _all_ it can find on that person: from the 'more informed' comments that person might be making then, to childish comments uttered in the early 2000s.

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (0)

Pi1grim (1956208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010170)

First of all, the analogies are all wrong. Cigarettes are never good, guns don't turn bad all of the sudden if they are misused — the user does. As for the "but it will stay there forever" — it's the point of the internet. What you want — is to allow personal form of censorship, but that is not what the internet is all about. If you don't want something on the internet — don't put it there. Period.

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (2, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010514)

If you want to pick on it, then you should educate yourself first. Cigarettes have significant benefits in short term, from neurological to cardiac. In this regard they can be compared to caffeine. Their major problem is severe damage caused to lung and thorax/mouth areas which massively outweighs benefits in long term.

You "usage" argument is also shaky. Everything humans use is a tool. Tools, among other things ENABLE action that would be otherwise impossible. Therefore it is indeed viable to argue that action can be influenced by presence and efficiency of a certain tool. Great example of this is indeed gun crime - for example in Kosovo (a well documented area) there has been a very significant increase in gun crime related to crimes of passion after war, due to significant increase of availability of assault rifles.

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010684)

And yet again you are blaming an inanimate object that had no ability to "make itself more available". And as far as the "enabling" part you may want to check your history. Many millions more were killed with steel, bronze, and even probably stone before guns were invented than have ever been killed with guns given the same time length.

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010876)

Reeeeeaaaaalllyyy? JFK could have been killed with a stone from I don't know how many yards away? Instead, with all these bodyguard and protection, one could simply walk up to him an throw him to death? C'mon dude... Seriously... That the biggest bullshit I've read this entire month (that is including political bla bla from banks).

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010540)

Och so you decide for all of us what internet is all about? Is this it? How is it better than 'personal censorship' as you call it? There are clearly cases where some communications are unlawful. Not because they say President this is silly but because they cause people to kill very specific (or not so specific) other people. There are communications that albeit I was an author I would like to withdraw and I cannot. In a sense it is the same as being angry and telling your wife she is a stupid bitch and then trying to pull it back but you cannot. This is also beyond the fact that sometimes the stuff put on the internet about one person is put there by other person and possibly in illegal way. I think adding more of the same 'trying to pull it back but you cannot" to the overall human misery in modern society is not necessary especially if the only purpose it serves is to satisfy your need for your vision of internet (which is just a tool). Of course the measure is or may be ineffective but at least it may cause morons like Zuckerberg to rethink his policies and ideas. Not that I believe there is a good chance of that but at least somebody is trying. From this perspective I think the attempt is good (even if I look at almost all activities of the Commission and my own German Government with great and usually justified contempt).

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (5, Insightful)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010652)

That's a solution but it's a risky one. I elaborate.

I'm 40+ now and I think about what I write publicly (yes even right now). But I'm not perfect nor foretelling so I can't be sure that anything I write is correct and I won't know better in future, or that I won't change opinion for any reason. Furthermore everybody starts young and with little foresight. One way to build up experience is making mistakes and those mistakes should not haunt people for all their lives because the Internet remembers them forever. We can't demand that children are born with adult minds. Not writing anything anywhere because it could come back to us in the future is a little bit too radical, a condemn to self-isolation and a risky proposition both socially and business-wise.

So either we stop paying attention to the past (impossible and undesirable) or the Internet stores only what we want it to store about us and let's us delete all the rest.

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (2)

Ardyvee (2447206) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010740)

I must agree with you. The internet is a place where you can find anything. I do advocate the "if you don't want it on the internet, don't put it there". Specially since if anybody really wanted to make sure something you (or anyone) said stays online it will be easier, faster and less costly for THEM to keep it online than for you to take it down.

On the other hand, the argument about: "I might argue about something and 20 years later I might say the opposite" just does not stand to be a valid one. At least not to me.

I guess it's just that I find it irritating that what the internet is for me - this free place where anything can last forever* - is being slowly legislated and with rules being thrown at it because people can't be bothered to think for themselves for a second, nor they can be bothered to be civilized enough as to understand what you, I or anybody may have done in the past is on the past.

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011218)

This. It will be funny to see ancient facebook comments/pictures and amateur videos from when they were "18" come back to haunt politicians in 20 or so years.

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (1, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010268)

That's great, but I think we should push it further. Why not extend it to countries? Then Germany can go back to the innocent ideologies it argued in its youth, and erase them from history books. America can go and remove references to all the pesky slaughtering of indigenous inhabitants they did during their younger days. Why should there be any accountability for actions done in the past, now that those who did them are older and wiser?

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010946)

Pillock. You're comparing a rude kid online utterly irrelevant to everyone, to a nations killing millions?

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010954)

Oh great, I just got used to this tinfoil hat, now I need to make a tinfoil cocoon!
Thanks a lot bud!

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (1)

glorybe (946151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011076)

Ain't it just awful when people are forced to be responsible for their own words?

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38011130)

Practical solution: post anonymously. :)

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38011140)

The wayback machine is nice to look at some of your old work - but the wayback machine also allows you to remove your site from it - not an individual page or version, yes, but at least it does give you _some_ way to keep a lid on your data.

But picture the bad side - you post something bad about a friend (after a fight you've had). Later you feel sorry for it - and you want to remove it; and you find, you can't.

Welcome to life.
You have to own up to your mistakes.
Read Orwell's 1984 for a good debate on the merits of being able to negate history.

Another bad side may also be when you change opinions on something over time, and people find pages of you arguing 'the other side' - maybe you were against abortion at some point, now your pro abortion - and some of your pro-abortion friends might find pages of you advocating against (or vice versa).

There are certainly things I argued 20 years back (_on the net_) that are still visible, but that I now see fallacies of. And I have no chance of removing the old comments. If you discuss something just among friends, you can, at least, hope that they'll forget it over time - or that they will also see how your change of heart comes about and therefore ignore what you said before.

Yeah, it's an outdated concept, but when I was younger, we called it personal responsibility.

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011204)

But picture the bad side - you post something bad about a friend (after a fight you've had). Later you feel sorry for it - and you want to remove it; and you find, you can't.

Yeah, just the other day I posted on my blog about how my BFF is a stupid dummy-head and now I'm screwed! Seriously, what?

Re:data protection and guns (was: wayback machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38011386)

"But picture the bad side - you post something bad about a friend (after a fight you've had). Later you feel sorry for it - and you want to remove it; and you find, you can't."

If you say it to their face...or in earshot of other people...you can't erase it either. Your point?

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010266)

Nope, no problem at all. Unless one subscribes to the delusion that *information* that you give to all of the world can be considered "yours" and that you could still control it. (Otherwise known as the "intellectual property" protection racket.)
That works with *physical* objects in a world with a *police*. But not with *information* on the *Internet*. Ever. Just as DRM.

1. If you send a network packet with personal information of you to a server (like Facebook), with that law, then that server has to tell you before doing anything with it. Which will be solved with something as simple as: "I agree that that information will be sent to everyone who requests it from our server." On the input form where you enter that information.
2. If you send your information out to anyone requesting it (e.g. from your own server, home server, Opera Unite, or something alike), without attaching any rules beforehand, then you have only yourself to blame and aren't entitled to anything.
3. In any case, denying that any rules attached in an information transaction are completely worthless and as stupid as copyright/DRM/IP/etc , since you won't have any control over what happens to it anyway, especially with untrustworthy recipients, *will* result in me coming over and handing you your own Darwin award after you've executed your chosen way to take yourself out of reproduction for your bio-mass and your ideas. ;)
4. And third/fourth party (like Google and the Wayback Machine) that has a copy of any information that was freely available on the net, does not owe you anything and can do with it whatever it wants.

Of course, Facebook will still argue that those advertisement companies are really not third parties and part of them.

What I wonder though is what they mean with "Used". It is technically impossible to recieve a data packet and not "use" it, since processing it in any way, even by decoding it and caching it, would be "using".
Also, what is the point of deleting data that has been available freely on the net? You lost control, It's *too late*. You physically can't control it anymore, unless you suggest putting a TCPA/DRM chip in everyone's head.

But hey, this comes from the same people who think you could hide child porn from the net by redirecting DNS entries to another HTTP server, and act like it would prevent child porn, when all it does is help it stay undercover.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010342)

Google probably already compy with this kind of legislation, because similar laws are already present in many EU countries where Google operate. You can see your personal data in Google's Dashboard [google.com] (quite an interesting experience if you've ever wondered how much of your data can be gathered by a single entity, often without you even noticing) and from there you can delete it.

In particular, there's a notice inside there telling that if a web site indexed by Google is modified, it will be automatically updated, without the need for a direct intervention by the user to also update the indexed information.

I don't think Facebook will have much trouble implementing a similar system, if they already haven't one.

Wayback Machine would probably need more work; e.g. in case somebody discovers that his cell phone number ended up on a web page in 1997, I think that he probably could request that information to be removed (the phone number, not the web page). They can probably get away with providing an email address accepting privacy-related requests.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (1)

gruzum (2504672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010382)

Not quite. I think search engines will adapt and provide a service you can use to censor information about you. With the right technology you can determine accurately if a piece of information is related to a certain person and that information comes from a social network. Given that the user will be able to filter any personal information about her.

Re:That would also make it awkward for search engi (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011334)

There's a difference between information uploaded somewhere and made publicly available, and information provided to a specific service. If I put something on a public web site that anyone can access, then it no longer counts as private information. If someone gives out my email address (or postal address) to an 'invite your friends' type form, or tags a photograph of me that's been uploaded and shared between friends, then that's still private information.

This will mostly affect Google because things like information about which link I click on in the search results are private information (if they are stored in any form other than aggregate data).

Surveillance (5, Insightful)

stooo (2202012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009846)

the so called "Social networks" look more and more like voluntary surveillance databases !!

Re:Surveillance (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009884)

I think that was Orwell's big mistake in 1984. I was thinking in cold war terms, of oppressive governments. He failed to anticipate the role that private industry would play in mass-surveillance, and the importance of financial interest as opposed to power-seeking.

Re:Surveillance (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011346)

He also failed to take marketing fully into account. There was always the need for doublethink in 1984. Back in the real world, it turns out that it's quite easy to persuade most of the population that having Big Brother watching them is a good thing.

Clashes with data retention directive? (4, Interesting)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009886)

Dear Service Provider, Please delete all my data (texts, phonecalls, emails, etc) that you have stored due to the data retention directive. Thank you.

Re:Clashes with data retention directive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009912)

I'd like to tell them to delete any IP association from the record with my name on it (log files).

Re:Clashes with data retention directive? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009922)

Especially as only old people use email. Sitemail becomes an end-run around those laws, wrt email anyway (if that's supposed to be retained).

Re:Clashes with data retention directive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009978)

What do you mean 'only old people use email'?

Clarification please?

Re:Clashes with data retention directive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010346)

What do you mean 'only old people use email'?

Clarification please?

AvitarX is probably Korean.

either that (1)

fireylord (1074571) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010546)

or is 12 years old

Re:Clashes with data retention directive? (0)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010884)

I'm not old you insensitive clod!

Re:Clashes with data retention directive? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010520)

Data that is kept under retention laws isn't available for commercial usage (afaik). It's only available for things like law enforcement, which means that while it can be misused, such misuse is highly unlikely to become widespread.

Same cannot be said about your data on social networks, not by a long shot.

Re:Clashes with data retention directive? (1)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010800)

Imo, there is very little difference between chat conversation on facebook and text messages on a cell phone. If I can request deletion of the former, then why not the other?

If "deleting" means that a copy is kept for "things like law enforcement" then it's not really deleting.

Re:Clashes with data retention directive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38011264)

This, so much this. The point of the data law is to protect privacy, and the point of the data retention law is to abrogate privacy in the name of justice. The intentions of the two laws are in conflict, except that they contrast in whom they help or hurt in that the former law attacks the intrusive power of corporations, while the latter fosters the intrusive power of government. If the EU were truly concerned with their citizens' rights, they would harmonize the intentions of these laws so that both would protect citizens' privacy from the encroachment of social power structures (corporations and government).

Yawn (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38009894)

Heavens forbid we might actually regain control over our data again. Oh the humanity, how ever will the industry survive? They might need to actually check and track data internally after they've raped and pillaged it (although you can't rape the willing).

true social networks thrive under this law (4, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010242)

True. And contrary to this news items title, this law will make true social networks thrive - just not corporate controlled ones. I already meet the letter of the law with Disapora, and am perfectly happy thank you.

An interesting reading (5, Insightful)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009942)

It seems the EU believes that some social network practices are hostile to its citizens and I can hardly disagree. Remember those complaints to fb [europe-v-facebook.org] from that group of Austrian students? It's an interesting reading for anybody who designs any service handling customer data (basically all of them).

Re:An interesting reading (3, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010136)

This is very much in line with current EU consumer data protection laws. I'm glad to see the EU taking a strong stance in online privacy. Unfortunately it will hit companies that sell consumer data for profit but well, I can't really feel sorry for them. You should not be able to sell data about ME without my consent, period. I am not living on this planet to provide data mining opportunities for companies into this sort of thing.

Re:An interesting reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010784)

Lucky for them you signed your consent when you agreed to have a credit/debit card. The problem isn't that they need consent, the problem is that you don't have access to essential services like being able to pay for things or have a cellular phone, unless you agree that they may share the information with "their partners".

I don't mind that facebook sells the information I provide, nor the local store if I choose to have a memberscard there. However I think that VISA cards, cell phones, internet services and public transit should be free from collection and sales of personal information

Re:An interesting reading (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010512)

The Facebook clones and identity thievery sites are the problem. Friend of mine found his photos on some gay dating website in Russia... pretty freaky! Basically if you have uploaded your photo anywhere chances are it is used by wast amount of other websites that are gathering that info off Facebook and other 'source' sites without you even knowing.

Other Peoples Photos of You (3, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009952)

And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves.

Very interesting language. It suggests that data you haven't posted might be considered yours. I wonder how this applies to a range of gray areas social networking sites provide - such as someone posting a compromising photo of you, or even more interesting, something you've posted but someone else shared/reposted.

Re:Other Peoples Photos of You (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010106)

such as someone posting a compromising photo of you, or even more interesting, something you've posted but someone else shared/reposted.

you should be able to take down a compromising photo of you via the complaint process... and there should be a setting you can invoke for your posts to deny sharing. Difficult to stop reposting as basically they're taking what you posted and posting themselves.

Re:Other Peoples Photos of You (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011310)

oh and PS. I would like to see a setting in Facebook which tells Google and other search spiders that my profile is NOT to be spidered... kinda like robots.txt... pity so many bloody ignore it though...

Re:Other Peoples Photos of You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010754)

And it’s nonsense, since you can't "own" information. Try to define what information is "yours". It will ultimately fail, except for information you have but can't prove to exist. Since that proof would involve giving a copy to someone else. And that copy would then not be under your control anymore. Which means anyone could pass it to anyone and do anything with it, and you may even never know. Now how much "ownership" is that, when you basically are just a passive observer and nobody can ever do anything to change that. (Besides from things like putting a TCPA chip into all life and machines in the event horizon cone of when you gave out that copy.)

None.

Re:Other Peoples Photos of You (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010838)

And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves.

Very interesting language. It suggests that data you haven't posted might be considered yours. I wonder how this applies to a range of gray areas social networking sites provide - such as someone posting a compromising photo of you, or even more interesting, something you've posted but someone else shared/reposted.

Under existing law, I have some rights about data that I didn't create, but which is about me. E.g. I can view it and require incorrect facts to be corrected. The data must not be shared without my consent.

It seems reasonable to decide whether (a) a photograph of me, and (b) the 'tag' identifying me in the photo, and (c) the comment about me on the photo are data about me, even though I didn't take, upload, tag or comment on the photo. Personally, I think (a) and (b) are, and (c) could be -- depending what's said, e.g. someone else's opinion about me shouldn't come under data protection laws.

It's only "tricky" for those who sell your data. (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38009982)

I disagree with the earlier poster who said it was difficult to delete data once it was cached. That is not true. A data "cache" by its very nature is transitory; once the cache is routinely updated, "cached" data that has been deleted goes away.

If it doesn't, then it isn't "cached" at all... it is stored. That is a different matter. Like the WayBack machine that was used as a (bad) example. WayBack doesn't "cache" data, it stores it for long term.

But none of that has any real relevance for "social networks", except for items that are explicitly made public. Certainly it is true that nobody has a right to expect privacy or exclusivity to data that has been deliberately made public.

What this really affects is your private communications and connections to other people, and what you have stored on some social network that ISN'T public. I happen to agree that somebody should have the right to delete such "personal" or "private" data, and that when it is deleted, it should go away... permanently.

We all know that Facebook reserves the right to store data permanently. Your deleted data is truly deleted, but their TOS explicitly says that they have no obligation whatever to delete data from their archives. That would indeed run afoul of the European data protection laws... but so what? That's Facebook's problem. There is nothing that says a perfectly good and legitimate social network could not be built that conforms to those laws.

Re:It's only "tricky" for those who sell your data (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010070)

I may stand corrected on this issue, with one caveat:

Would Google's use of the term "cached" not apply if it meant it in the transitory sense, in that hardware may fail at any point causing the data, which for whatever reason is not mirrored, to be lost forever? Does that not fulfil the technical requirement of proper use of the term "cached"?

Re:It's only "tricky" for those who sell your data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010226)

Do you really need to ask that? Just like with most terms, intent is what matters. If your intent is to store the item long term, then it's not a cache.

Contrary to what some people here seem to believe, this is also how the courts decide on things: Definitions of terms can be argued -- and they often are -- but trying to weasel out with some overly literal reading like you did will get you a nasty look from the judge and nothing else....

Re:It's only "tricky" for those who sell your data (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010700)

Well, it depends on the intent.

However, I must say that as far as I know, Google's use of the term "cache" is pretty loose and may in fact be technically incorrect, if I understand what they are actually doing. (I am presuming here that you mean how they make pages that are no longer normally available via a "cached" link.) I am not 100% certain, but I am pretty sure that those are actually copies of sites that are in long-term storage, not actual caches at all.

I suppose, if you really wanted to split hairs, a "cache" could last for 2 years, and still be a "cache", which is to say a temporary store, as long as it did expire at some point. But I'm not sure Google's use of it really meets the definition of a computer cache.

Re:It's only "tricky" for those who sell your data (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010238)

I disagree with the earlier poster who said it was difficult to delete data once it was cached. That is not true. A data "cache" by its very nature is transitory; once the cache is routinely updated, "cached" data that has been deleted goes away.

That is one way of using cache, but not the only way. For example you could have an image cache that works on a LRU principle, give a hash get a picture in return. There's no "routinely updated", just that what hasn't been used in a long time falls off the cache. If a user deletes a picture - or what is really the reference to a picture, how long until you can be absolutely sure it's fallen off every cache and you've complied with the deletion request? Answer: You can't. You have to explicitly send all commands to every cache that if you have this picture, drop it. And that doesn't account for any and all backups you might have with it, that isn't cache but can also be very complicated.

Of course, if you delete the reference then in theory people can't reach it, but if the server is compromised then an attacker could get access to all of them, even "unlinked" pictures. Maybe it's obvious from the content, maybe you can find some logs showing what account it used to belong to, whatever. In any case you can't really say with certainty that the data really is gone until the picture itself has been deleted (or possibly wiped). And that can be a non-trivial thing to do on a huge infrastructure.

Re:It's only "tricky" for those who sell your data (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010714)

That's true. All I really meant was that a "cache" is supposed to be temporary in nature, and should expire after a time. As opposed to, for example, an archive.

Re:It's only "tricky" for those who sell your data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010314)

Privacy?
No.
Exclusivity, however, is an entirely different matter. Personal data is personal, whether it can be read publicly or not. Processing personal data without permission is by default not legal (save for the exceptions covered in the law).

Simple solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010516)

Make "selling" information what it is: Fraud and extortion. "Selling" something that can not be owned, sold, stolen or other actions that only apply to physical objects.
Nothing real was exchanged for that money. Certainly not any work.
If they did not do any work and gave you nothing, then they can't get money in return. Simple.

It's a crime,and it should be treated as such. Close their businesses, put them and their clients in jail, and this shit will soon stop.

Re:It's only "tricky" for those who sell your data (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010632)

A "cache" is a "store". In computer parlance it's a temporary store, but only CPU cache (or a RAMdisk cache) is actually volatile by definition. Any other type of storage cache tends to hold its contents until it degrades or they are *deliberately* erased.

Streisand Amplification System (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010026)

And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves

We need an automatic Streisand Amplification System that immediately draws attention to anything a user has requested deletion of. Especially if it's pictures.

Re:Streisand Amplification System (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010040)

Call me old... but is that, by any chance, a South Park reference?

Re:Streisand Amplification System (2)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010222)

Re:Streisand Amplification System (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010250)

yep, right around the time they started to parody her on the show...

Re:Streisand Amplification System (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010182)

Or we could just let private individuals keep their dignity?

Nah, didn't think so, pointing and jeering is so much more fun.

Re:Streisand Amplification System (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010328)

Or we could just let private individuals keep their dignity?

Nah, didn't think so, pointing and jeering is so much more fun.

If private individuals think before they post, it won't be a problem. They won't of course, but yes, that's where the pointing and jeering comes in.

Slashdot doesn't allow you to delete anything you post.

Re:Streisand Amplification System (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010764)

And this is what could happen if somebody really wanted something to stay online.

Won't change much (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010080)

Companies that are archiving personal information for such purposes as being evaluated for a job position will just keep the data offshore.

If you don't want your private life made public, don't put it on the net.

Re:Won't change much (2)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011336)

And make sure no one else puts it on the net either. How do you do that?

Only for bad sites (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010102)

EU politicians are mulling new data protection laws that could make Europe a hostile place for social networks that claim ownership of your data, don't let you delete it, and sell it to everyone

FTFY

Is this a bad thing? (2)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010140)

http://europe-v-facebook.org/EN/en.html [europe-v-facebook.org] Lets face it social networks are scum. I do not do face palm, twitter or any other social networking sites. It is better for you not to follow the sheep for publicity use either as an individual or a business.

The best overview of Social Networks based on my life experience of well over 40 years, is simply like real life friends and so called friends. When you have money, a nice car, a nice house etc people want to know you. The same if you are famous. When all your money and fame disappears, so do the "flies around shit" and you are only left with a handful of true friends :)

Just like politicians and most media; they will run from one "Crisis to the next". Once you can get your mind around that truth... truly it really does help you feel more at peace with yourself and others.

Excellent (3, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010254)

The requirement to be able to query, amend and delete the personal information stored by any entity (public or private) is already present in the national laws of many EU member states, and has been for years. For once, european legislation won't bend to pave the way for some large company's business model. Which should be the rule and not an exception, frankly.

Facebook will have no problems complying with the law. All the service providers working in the individual EU countries which protect privacy already do.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010284)

Help! I live in Whatdafukistan. AKA TwitterMerica.

Hostile? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010260)

" that could make Europe a hostile place for social networks."

In my view it's the opposite. It makes it a consumer protected place. It should (in theory) protect users from spamware data mining "businesses" wich might also help prevent scams by making them less efficient at targeting new victims.

Facebook = the Borg, they simply assimilate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010280)

I have never used Facebook, never signed in to their service, never clicked on a button to like anything but still they seem to have created a profile for me and started to spam trying to force me to sign in.
I tracked down the data to the (IMHO illegal) scan of address books of friends of mine who weren't aware that Facebook were to use this data to build profiles for people who don't use their service and then would start a spam regime to try to get those to sign in. If I were to pursue this issue currently I could only go after my friends but that would only reduce my real life social network not the phoney online community to which I have no ties whatsoever and to which I never ever want to have any ties in the future. If the new european law would be passed I could go after Facebook and finally get rid of this annoying garbage they send me every few weeks about what I am missing and who is missing me (the latter I know isn't true because I have regular real life contact with my friends) and who is playing which game now...
For me they could make FB and other data hogging social networks illegal and block traffic from their servers throughout Europe, most people would be far better off without them...

Facebook = the Borg, they assimilate everyone... (1, Redundant)

charlyw (631004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010298)

I have never used Facebook, never signed in to their service, never clicked on a button to like anything but still they seem to have created a profile for me and started to spam trying to force me to sign in. I tracked down the data to the (IMHO illegal) scan of address books of friends of mine who weren't aware that Facebook were to use this data to build profiles for people who don't use their service and then would start a spam regime to try to get those to sign in. If I were to pursue this issue currently I could only go after my friends but that would only reduce my real life social network not the phoney online community to which I have no ties whatsoever and to which I never ever want to have any ties in the future. If the new european law would be passed I could go after Facebook and finally get rid of this annoying garbage they send me every few weeks about what I am missing and who is missing me (the latter I know isn't true because I have regular real life contact with my friends) and who is playing which game now... For me they could make FB and other data hogging social networks illegal and block traffic from their servers throughout Europe, most people would be far better off without them...

solution to data retention issues (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010348)

dont upload anything you dont want retained. remember when people understood what sayings like "the cat's out of the bag" and "you let the genie out of the bottle" meant?

what i'm really getting at is:
DONT UPLOAD IT IF YOU DONT WANT EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING TO SEE, READ AND ANALYZE IT.

Re:solution to data retention issues (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010468)

...a href="http://localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8109%3Aa-question-of-credibility&catid=56%3Alitigation-articles&q=&Itemid=24">or use it against you

+1 / like (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010364)

Always happy to see there are areas left where politicians are not busy selling us out to corporations.

I absolutely want to have to give explicit permission before people use my data. And yes, I want to be able to remove my data.

Does it cause some additional work? Yes, it does. I have several web-based games that will be affected by a law like this. But seriously, what it means is an additional tick box during the signup ("by signing up I agree... bla bla") and having to track who posted what and removing it when he wants to. Probably easiest solution is to add a button saying "delete all my posts" somewhere.
So, all in all, an hour or two of work.

So, FB with your billions of revenue, stop whining.

Re:+1 / like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010982)

Agreed, but what about me? I barely have two pennies to rub together, and make a small loss running my blog. I've accepted anonymous postings on my web site (and even if you use your name to post, there's no guarantee it's really you) for years. If you now come and ask me to remove all your posts, how on earth do I do that?

Even if I engineer in more logging or whatever, I can't honestly say I'll get all *your* data without either getting someone else's, or missing some of yours. Unless, that is, I force you to register an account first. You could them ask for all data associated with that account to be removed, which seems like a reasonable request. I still can't remove data associated with you the person though, without dealing with the original problem. It's possible that exceptions will be made for anonymous posting, but that would create all manner of loopholes in the main intent of these rules that politicians just won't be able to accept.

At best, this sort of thing makes anonymous, or near-anonymous posting impossible. At worst, it invites a single ID to rule them all (internet license or whatever).

What's good on the outside isn't necessarily good on the inside. That said, I welcome the conversation, but I expect to get railroaded into all manner of things I don't like because I entertained the idea at the outset.

Re:+1 / like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38011380)

Always happy to see there are areas left where politicians are not busy selling us out to corporations.

I absolutely want to have to give explicit permission before people use my data. And yes, I want to be able to remove my data.

Does it cause some additional work? Yes, it does. I have several web-based games that will be affected by a law like this. But seriously, what it means is an additional tick box during the signup ("by signing up I agree... bla bla") and having to track who posted what and removing it when he wants to. Probably easiest solution is to add a button saying "delete all my posts" somewhere.
So, all in all, an hour or two of work.

So, FB with your billions of revenue, stop whining.

They're not whining because of some additional coding they have to make to the site to allow people to remove their posts, they're whining because it's less information to sell to advertisers.

Hostile?!? (1)

Evtim (1022085) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010440)

I call BS!

Hostile to the present "give us all your data, they are our property forever, we won't even ask when collecting it, we will sell it to the highest bidder" model - yes. Hostile to Social Networks in general - resounding NO! In fact under such conditions I will open social network account which I will never do under the present paradigm.
 

Definition of 'doing business', please! (2)

shirque (1335717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010494)

Say Facebook et al. won't surrender to these new regulations, for whatever reasons. So according to the proposal, these social networks would no longer be allowed to do business on the EU's internal market â" which would be enforced exactly how? By blocking their DNS entries on a pan-European level, pissing of dozens of millions of users (i.e. voters); or at least those who aren't tech-savy enough to circumvent such futile attempts in the first place?

Bring it on, I'd say! Let's see who holds the whip hand.

Re:Definition of 'doing business', please! (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010612)

Ring up all the credit-card companies and tell them that Facebook Inc. (or whatever company name does the handling for them) is not to be dealt with by European countries until they have settled their outstanding lawsuit for trading in the EU without complying with EU legislation.

Being in the EU, the banks, credit card companies, PayPal, etc. would be obliged to act on such court orders (which are really nothing more than seizing funds made and held in the EU until the EU courts are satisfied that everything is above-board) in the same way that they would be obliged to freeze accounts related to criminal activity which happens every day (for everything from local drug dealers to relatives of Gadaffi).

Facebook would lose ~50% of their direct income immediately and be racking up the fines required to actually release those funds every day.

People think that just because you're international you can't stop people trading. The point is that people who *trade* in the EU are making money from it, and you can stop that money directly without having to fight against DNS-bypassing clients. If they weren't trading in the EU, it probably would be a hundred times more difficult to stop but even then - you can make it extremely tricky for a large company like Facebook by doing things like applying for their CEO to be extradited on charges, freezing their accounts, convicting them in their absence (and thus preventing travel to an awful lot of countries), etc.

You're doing business in the EU. You can break EU law if you really want but the fact is that it's an incredibly stupid things to do and will come back on you ten times harder.

MS traded in the EU and broke our laws. We fined them millions of Euro's that they had to pay. If they'd refused (and they did put up a bit of a fight), you can just embargo their products, seize their European assets, and chase them through international courts because as soon as you do *business* in a country, you come under it's jurisdiction.

In the worst case, I'm sure that blocking DNS would be the last resort and a bit pointless. But they sure can deal you a lot worse problems before that happens, even if you don't have *permanent* assets in the country by stopping EU businesses like credit card companies, etc. from dealing with you or your subsidiaries.

Re:Definition of 'doing business', please! (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010878)

Say Facebook et al. won't surrender to these new regulations, for whatever reasons. So according to the proposal, these social networks would no longer be allowed to do business on the EU's internal market" which would be enforced exactly how?

Facebook Ireland, who take all the money for marketing to EU organisations, would be closed. Their datacentres in Europe would be closed.

Facebook could remain accessible throughout all this, but there'd be room for a competitor to start, and a recently vacated market greater than the USA... would Facebook risk that?

The USA has a list of countries and organisations with which it's not permitted to do business -- Cuba, etc. I don't think Europe has such a thing, but it could be done. Then it would be illegal to buy advertising or data from Facebook. (Buying personal data would be illegal anyway, if the data concerns Europeans).

Businesses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010566)

must respect the laws and citizen rights of the country or GTFO. End of story. Nothing illogical here.

No (0)

Skyhawker420 (1704264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38010626)

Once it is on the internet, it is there forever, for use by anyone with access. That is the way it should be.

Patriot Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010680)

The thing is, EU is pissed off that the Patriot Act can be used to spy on EU citizens on EU territory.

This law will require EU and the US to agree on changes to the Patriot Act, or US companies cannot do business in EU any more.

It was probably not such a good idea to pass the Patriot Act in the first place.

I'd rather give up my privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38010818)

I'd rather give up my privacy than having to deal with an internet-wide TPM fueled sencorship framework.

Losing privacy is bad already, but sencorship is even worse!

US (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011250)

can we get that passed here in the U.S. too?

Mentally compensating for data retention directive (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38011360)

Imagine that there was a law that said a record must be written of every person you speak to - who it was and the time you spoke.

That's basically the EU Data Retention Directive right there.

When you are experiencing a popular uprising against your own abuse of personal information, how about trying to justify and compensate by clamping down on others' abuse of personal information? Sounds good!

Re:Mentally compensating for data retention direct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38011580)

Imagine that there was a law that said a record must be written of every person you speak to - who it was and the time you spoke.

We will get there, don't worry - For the safety of our children and to keep the terrorists at bay.

Hostile to Social Networks? (3, Insightful)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38011464)

Who wrote this summary anyway?

What is so *hostile* for social networks?

That when users press 'delete' on a post they made of facebook, then Facebook will actually have to delete the post instead of only hiding it like it does today.

If Facebook wants to play in Europe then either they start to follow privacy rules or they step aside and give someone else a chance that does.

I bet you anything that if facebook is faced with the choise of not doing business or folloing privacy rules, they will choose to stay in business.

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