digital companies grapple with new data protection laws for consumers
in Europe, Facebook has been slammed for a cheap trick it used in an
didn’t comply with the new laws.
media sites use all sorts of methods to hold your attention and keep
you coming back. You haven’t been on LinkedIn in a while? All of a
sudden you get an email telling you a recruiter was looking at your
page. You haven’t opened Instagram for some time? You soon find
yourself getting a lot more push notifications about videos your
friends are posting.
tricks are more subtle like when you log onto Twitter and there’s a
brief pause before your notifications pop up — that’s designed to keep
you in suspense the same way the final reel of a pinball machine can
take an extra second to fall into place.
sorts of things are part and parcel of using such services. But when
you’re used to manipulating users, it can be easy to overstep the mark
— and Facebook appears to have done just that.
European Union’s much-touted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
came into effect in May, prompting people’s inboxes
with emails from companies about
order to comply with the new rules.
according to a complaint filed by the European Center for Digital
Rights on behalf of an anonymous complainant, Facebook used deceptive
violation of the GDPR.
complaint alleges that Facebook blocked users’ accounts if they did
not consent and used “tricks” to get people to agree in the form of
enticing them with fake message notifications to pressure them to
click through so they could see the notifications.
used additional ‘tricks’ to pressure the users: For example, the
consent page included two fake red dots … that indicated that the user
has new messages and notifications, which he/she cannot access without
consenting — even if the user did not have such notifications or
messages in reality,” the complaint reads.
has been contacted for comment on the complaint.
actually put *fake red dots* to try and make you think you have
messages even if you don't, so you agree to their tracking more
hastily. Read full complaint against Facebook: https://t.co/uI5fYairtK
with tricks like that, sorry Facebook, you deserve to be hit
is disappointing, Facebook. You are losing users’ trust for a reason,”
wrote Tristan Harris, founder of Center for Humane Technology who has
by The Atlantic
as the “closest thing Silicon
Valley has to a conscience.”
spent three years as a Google design ethicist developing a framework
for how technology should ethically steer the thoughts and actions of
billions of people.
who don’t spend their days grappling with such pertinent tech issues
were equally admonishing of Facebook’s newest boondoggle.
is the second biggest digital advertiser and in the world and more
data equals more money, so naturally it wants as few restrictions
around how it uses that data as possible.
does the GDPR mean for you?
in the making, the GDPR rules are prompting companies to rewrite their
privacy policies and in some cases (like Microsoft announced) apply
the European Union’s tougher standards in other regions where privacy
laws are weak. Although they take effect as Facebook faces an enormous
privacy crisis, that timing is largely coincidental.
regulation has little relevance for the United States, but any company
with customers in the EU, if they offer goods and services in the EU,
or if they monitor the behavior of individuals in the EU will be
not much will change for you. Companies will keep on collecting and
analyzing personal data from your phone, the apps you use and the
sites you visit. The big difference is that now the companies will
have to justify why they’re collecting and using that information. And
they’re prevented from using data for a different purpose later, the
Associated Press reported.