"Facebook’s Latest Scandal Shows We Need Stronger Privacy Laws"

The EFF has released "Facebook's Latest Scandal Shows We Need Stronger Privacy Laws" by Hayley Tsukayama and Adam Schwartz.

Here's an excerpt:

Facebook, the world's largest social media company, has shown yet again that it does not deserve our trust. A New York Times investigation revealed that Facebook shared its users' private data, without its users' consent, with other tech giants including Microsoft, Amazon, and Netflix.

The Times report revealed that Facebook parceled out deeply personal information from its users to other companies without first asking if that was alright. Facebook users' private messages went to Netflix, Spotify and the Royal Bank of Canada. The names and contact information for their friends went to Sony, Microsoft, and Amazon. Yahoo even got a real-time feed of what users' friends were up to—without telling either the user or their friends. . . .

Tech industry groups such as the Internet Association, which counts Facebook as a member, have asked California legislators to weaken even these basic privacy protections. Big tech companies are also now calling for a national privacy law, after years of claiming self-regulation would be enough to keep them in line—a claim that's obviously not true— but only if a national law “preempts” and rolls back vital state protections.

We are particularly troubled by the Times' new report that Facebook is undermining user privacy by misinterpreting the term “service provider,” which is an exception to the privacy rules in the FTC's 2011 consent order with Facebook.

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