NY Canada Gunning for Facebook Over Data Protection

first_imgFacebook claims 1.5M contact databases were harvested by its email verification process, but the total number of people whose information was improperly obtained may be hundreds of millions.It’s time Facebook be held accountable for how it handles consumers’ personal info.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) April 25, 2019Zuckerberg & Co. last week admitted to “unintentionally uploading” email contacts of 1.5 million new users since May 2016—a practice they have since abandoned.But, as James’ office pointed out, that’s just an estimation; the total number of folks whose personal data was nonconsensually collected by Facebook “may be hundreds of millions.”“Facebook’s announcement that it harvested 1.5 million users’ email address books, potentially gaining access to contact information for hundreds of millions of individual consumers without their knowledge,” James said, “is the latest demonstration that Facebook does not take seriously its role in protecting our personal information.”The attorney general is no stranger to enforcing New York consumer protection laws against tech companies: In January, James launched an investigation into Apple over its failure to warn consumers of a FaceTime bug that allowed users to receive audio and video of the callee before they answer.And in March 2018, the office scrutinized Facebook over the reported misuse of user data with Cambridge Analytica.That same scandal has landed the network in hot water with our neighbors to the north.On Thursday, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) revealed that a joint investigation with British Columbia found “major shortcomings” in the social media giant’s privacy practices.Facebook, however, allegedly disputes the findings and “refuses” to implement the privacy commissioners’ recommendations, including to voluntarily submit to audits over the next five years.“The stark contradiction between Facebook’s public promises to mend its ways on privacy and its refusal to address the serious problems we’ve identified—or even acknowledge that it broke the law—is extremely concerning,” Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien said.“Facebook has spent more than a decade expressing contrition for its actions and avowing its commitment to people’s privacy,” B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Michael McEvoy added. “But when it comes to taking concrete actions needed to fix transgressions, they demonstrate disregard.”The OPC plans to take the matter to federal court to seek an order forcing the company to “correct” its privacy practices.More on Geek.com:Oops: Facebook Stored ‘Hundreds of Millions’ of Passwords in Plain TextResearchers Discover Two More Cases of Facebook Data ExposureRussia Fines Facebook $50 for Violating Data Privacy Law Podcasts Are TV Shows Now With ‘Limetown’ Trailer7 Icebreakers for Facebook’s New Dating Service Stay on targetcenter_img Facebook’s luck may be running out.New York Attorney General Letitia James has opened an investigation into the social network’s unauthorized collection of 1.5 million users’ email content databases.Meanwhile, across the border, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada plans to drag the firm to court over a “breach of trust.”“It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers’ personal information,” James said in a statement. “Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers’ information while at the same time profiting from mining that data.”last_img

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