The report, lead by the Centre of Interdisciplinary Law and ICT at the University of Lauven in Belgium finds that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) still violates the European consumer protection law, as well as placing way too many expectations regarding the user’s ability to change its law-breaking settings by themselves.
“Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) contains a number of provisions which do not comply with the Unfair Contract Terms Directive. These violations were already present in 2013, and they are set to persist in 2015,” wrote the authors in the report.
According to the report, the policies of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) around profiling for third-party advertising do not “meet the requirements for legally valid consent” and states that the social network “fails to offer adequate control mechanisms” regarding the user-generated content for commercial purposes.
“Facebook places too much burden on its users. Users are expected to navigate Facebook’s complex web of settings in search of possible opt-outs,” wrote the authors. “Facebook’s default settings related to behavioral profiling or Social Ads, for example, are particularly problematic.”
In the report, it was also stated that there is no way to prevent Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) from collecting the location from its users from its app for smartphones unless its stopped at the level of the mobile operating system. Authors state that the users are not allowed to choose the appearance on the “sponsored stories”, and that the users do not receive the proper information that allows them to know where the users choices are available.
“We recently updated our terms and policies to make them more clear and concise, to reflect new product features and to highlight how we’re expanding people’s control over advertising,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Guardian. “We’re confident the updates comply with applicable laws. As a company with international headquarters in Dublin, we routinely review product and policy updates including this one, with our regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, who oversees our compliance with the EU Data Protection Directive as implemented under Irish law.”
The social network has a history of being investigated regarding privacy issues in Europe, where it is generally made with greater criticism over such issues than it is in the U.S.
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