FTC negotiating multibillion-dollar fine with Facebook over privacy practices

(Feb 15, 2019) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has entered negotiations with Facebook over a potential multibillion-dollar fine to settle the agency’s probe into the tech company’s privacy practices, The Washington Post reports. A pair of individuals close to the inquiry said Facebook has expressed concerns with the demands made by the FTC. While the two sides have not agreed on a total for the penalty, it is expected to be the largest fine ever administered by the agency. Facebook confirmed it has entered d... Read More

NYT reporters land Facebook privacy publishing deal with HarperCollins

(Feb 11, 2019) A pair of reporters from The New York Times has received a publishing deal with HarperCollins to write a book about the privacy-related stories about Facebook, Vanity Fair reports. Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang landed a seven-figure deal to write the book. Frenkel and Kang’s book will be based on a Times report from November that covered Facebook’s responses to several privacy incidents that have taken place over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, lawmakers have started a push to create digi... Read More

German competition authority places limits on Facebook's data processing

(Feb 7, 2019) Germany’s competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, has placed restrictions on Facebook’s data-processing activities. Facebook will only be allowed to combine data collected from WhatsApp, Instragram and other third parties with Facebook should they receive "voluntary" consent from users. The Bundeskartellamt has given Facebook the opportunity to develop solutions to address the issue. However, Facebook disagrees with the regulator's decision, writing in a blog post, “While we’ve cooperated w... Read More

Calif. lawmakers introduce data privacy omnibus package

(Feb 5, 2019) A group of five California State Assembly members has introduced a data privacy omnibus package, Government Technology reports. It is expected to include four bills and a resolution designed to bolster the California Consumer Privacy Act. The four bills include rules to no longer allow companies to store voice data on smart speakers used for marketing, requirements for social media companies to obtain a parent’s permission before any child uses their platforms, a new data breach notification rul... Read More

Colombia DPA orders Facebook to shore up data protection standards

(Feb 5, 2019) The Colombian data protection authority, the Industria y Comercio Superintendencia, has ordered Facebook to adopt new measures in order to protect the information of the 31 million users within the country. The SIC states Facebook must meet the standards within Colombian regulation to ensure there is no unauthorized or fraudulent access, use or loss of data. Facebook has been given four months to meet these requirements. In order for the social media company to prove it has met these terms, it w... Read More

El plan de Facebook para integrar sus apps de mensajería levanta preocupaciones sobre privacidad y monopolio

(Feb 5, 2019) Facebook quiere combinar sus aplicaciones de mensajería más populares y algunos legisladores no parecen estar muy contentos con ello. El viernes, The New York Times dio a conocer la noticia de que el CEO Mark Zuckerberg está presionando a su empresa para que fusione el backend de Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp e Instagram. El cambio significaría que los usuarios de una aplicación podrían enviar mensajes a los usuarios de otra, y vincularía mucho más los productos –todos, propiedad de Facebook.Nota... Read More

Judge disagrees with Facebook's harm argument in privacy case

(Feb 4, 2019) U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria disagreed with an argument made by Facebook as the tech company attempts to have a multidistrict privacy case dismissed, Courthouse News Service reports. Facebook lawyers said the company cannot be sued for third parties that accessed users’ private data since no “real world” harm took place from the arrangement due to users allowing third parties to obtain the data through their privacy controls. Chhabria disagreed with Facebook’s position. “The injury is the ... Read More

Irish DPC opened seven different probes against Facebook

(Feb 1, 2019) Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon announced Facebook faces seven different data-protection investigations by the DPC, Bloomberg reports. Dixon said the inquiries are part of 16 cases the DPC has launched against tech companies, which include Twitter, Apple and LinkedIn. “We’re at various concrete stages in all of them, but they’re all substantially advanced,” said Dixon, who added final decisions in the investigations may not come until the summer. CNBC reports Facebook has seen an ... Read More

NY allows life insurers to use social media data to help set premium rates

(Feb 1, 2019) The New York State Department of Financial Services will now allow life insurers to use social media data and other forms of information to help set premium rates, The Wall Street Journal reports. Life insurers are permitted to incorporate this information into their processes as long as they can prove their algorithms are not biased against any marginalized groups. New York Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo said the department’s goal is to create a set of ground rules before the use... Read More

Sens. speak out against Facebook's data-payment practices

(Jan 31, 2019) Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., have all spoken out against Facebook after it was discovered the tech company paid teens and adults to install a virtual private network designed to analyze their phone traffic, TechCrunch reports. Warner said in a letter to Facebook it did not tell users what data its Research app collected, nor did it give the necessary information needed to determine whether they should sell their information. In response to these ... Read More