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Facebook Slammed for Allegedly Duping Users Into Allowing Access to Private Data

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Sputnik
May 30, 2018

A European digital rights watchdog has lodged a complaint against one of the world’s biggest social media networks, accusing the latter of manipulating its users into accepting a new terms of service agreement.

According to the complaint filed against Facebook Ireland Ltd. by the European Center for Digital Rights on behalf on an anonymous person, the social media giant effectively pressured people into accepting its privacy policy, using methods that allegedly violate the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

For example, the complaint stated that Facebook’s new terms of service agreement, presented as a single document, contained a clause that allows the company to provide personalized targeted ads and described the processing of users’ personal data for this purpose as “necessary to fulfill our Facebook Terms of Service.”The social media platform also purportedly goaded its users into believing that their only option was to consent to the new terms, by providing a clearly visible “I AGREE” while the other alternative is only available via a “small hidden link.”

“This ‘options’ are however only the deletion of the users’ account. Even if a user wanted to delete their account, they would have to scroll down and click on a small link saying “I am sure, that I want to delete my account” – and not on the much bigger button saying ‘BACK TO THE TERMS OF SERVICE’,” the complaint states.

Facebook also allegedly employed “tricks” like displaying “fake red dots” that indicate new messages and notifications, while simultaneously blocking a user’s account and leaving them with a choice of either accepting the new terms and privacy policy or deleting their account.

During his testimony in front of the European Parliament last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also confirmed that the social network had collected the data of non-Facebook users “for security purposes.”

Several MEPs however have claimed that Zuckerberg’s testimony was insufficient, and that the session’s format allowed him to avoid their questions.

The social media titan has faced widespread outrage since it emerged earlier this year that a political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica had obtained a large amount of the social network’s user data via a third-party application. The information was allegedly used to help target political advertising.

This article was posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 6:42 am





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