Facebook backlash could tighten regulations on Apple, Google and Amazon

Facebook backlash could tighten regulations on Apple, Google and Amazon
The soap opera that we refer to as the Facebook-Cambridge Analytical scandal could end up affecting more tech companies that didn't do anything close to the things that Facebook is accused of. Tech firms like Apple, Alphabet subsidiary Google, and Amazon (make no mistake about it, Amazon is a tech company) could face stricter regulations globally on how they obtain and use all of the customer data they receive.

Just yesterday, Cambridge Analytica co-founder co-founder Christopher Wylie said that the number of Facebook profiles used by the consulting firm without subscribers' permission could be higher than the current count of 87 million. With Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg scheduled to appear in front of the House and Senate this week, we could see new bills introduced that will tighten regulations on tech companies that collect data from the public. On Friday, Facebook said it endorsed legislation that takes existing laws covering election ads on television and radio, and expands those regulations to paid internet and digital advertisements. The legislation is called "The Honest Ads Act."

A large part of the problem is transparency. The use of customer profiles without permission violates a 2011 consent decree that Facebook signed with the FTC back in 2011. The Attorney General of Missouri wants Facebook to reveal which political campaigns paid for subscribers' profile data, and whether this information was paid for. Congress could be looking across the Atlantic to see how Europe fares after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25th.

GDPR places a rather steep financial penalty on companies that don't protect personal data, or don't block children from viewing content that is inappropriate for their ages. Fines can be as high as 4% of a company's global revenue. That percentage of Facebook's 2017 revenue would amount to $1.6 billion. The GDPR protections could cover all EU citizens regardless of where they live or travel. This forces global firms like Apple, Google and Amazon to be extremely cautious about how they handle consumer data. It also might lead these firms to follow GDPR worldwide instead of just in the EU. Facebook's Zuckerberg said that the company is working to cover all of its users with the protection afforded them under the new regulations. We would expect other companies that collect personal data to follow suit.

source: WSJ

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4 Comments

1. Papa_Ji

Posts: 856; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Why don't just ban all these American companies???? Each country should have the own local OS and social platform (something similar what China wants to do/doing) This will help to create lakhs of jobs in each country.

2. IT-Engineer

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

To a some degree you have a point. But business side, it would be a catastrophic move since thousands of international firms do businesses with each other using a common platform and protocol. If everyone wants to develope their own OS and their own protocol then business would be done only by fax and telephone. Although I do agree with the idea but it should be done state wise, or for government use only.to secure a state's secret data and information.

3. fatTony

Posts: 115; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

It would be a great start, but I don't think the 4% fine is enough for the punitive damages. What about companies like Equifax that has our SSNs and got breached TWICE? What about White Pages? No, it doesn't advertise but the White Pages has not just one's personal information (every address, phone numbers, email addresses), but that of the entire family (and all relatives), and anyone can access this information for some $. I was shocked to find that they've linked my two-year old kid's information to mine. I don't ever remember giving them my written or verbal approval. I wouldn't mind seeing our lawmakers make regulations against this sort of information gathering, but that may be asking too much.

4. lyndon420

Posts: 6823; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Maybe try some subscription based versions of fb and google...etc?

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