Europe vs Facebook (TH4J)

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Session Topic: Europe vs Facebook (TH4J)

Convener: Markus Sabadello

Notes-taker(s): Markus Sabadello

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered:

Facebook, Privacy, EU

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

According to the "Europe vs. Facebook" initiative, which was started by a group of young law students from Vienna, the Facebook legal structure subjects Facebook users outside of the US and Canada to EU privacy law, especially the well-known "Data Protection Directive".

The group has successfully requested and received a set of personal data stored by Facebook, filed a complaint with the responsible regulator (the Irish Data Protection Commission), and generated a large amount of attention in European media. By now, Facebook offers an automatic web form where users can request a copy of their data, however, the group pushes for further action, claiming that Facebook's reaction is insufficient.

The group, which is intimately familiar with both US and EU privacy law, demands more transparency and the use of open standards, and explains that a world-wide solution to online privacy must consist of both legal and technological measures.

As of now, the investigation against Facebook is still ongoing. On the website http://europe-v-facebook.org/, a detailed list of complaints and the history of the effort are documented.