European Commission cracks down on Facebook data mining
The European Commission is planning to curtail the vast amounts of data that social media goliath Facebook gathers from its users, according to the Telegraph.
The site gathers far more information than simply what links or pages you click to "Like" — including some that relates to individuals' political opinions, sexuality, and religious beliefs — and uses them to laser-focus the advertisements that appear on each person's page.
But Viviane Reding, the vice-president of the European Commission, wants to amend the European data protection laws so that firms that do not follow regulations could face legal actions or fines.
"I call on service providers — especially social media sites — to be more transparent about how they operate. Users must know what data is collected and further processed [and] for what purposes," Reding told the Telegraph.
All of Facebook's 800 million users agree to a data usage policy, whether they realize it or not. The 6,700-word contract can be found at the bottom of each page — provided you get past the near-endless refreshes of your News Feed, which pushes the link further down. Check out the full data usage policy here.
Shortly after Facebook's f8 conference in September, we asked CBCNews.ca's readers if they were concerned about their online privacy. 81 per cent of respondents answered that they were.
Should Canada follow the European Commission's lead, and try to limit what information sites like Facebook can gather from its users? Do you worry about the information Facebook gathers for advertising purposes?
On the other hand, does the onus fall to the individual to read the data usage policy in full? Let us know in the comments section below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)