Friday 19 January 2018

Christopher Williams: Why Facebook is facing a huge challenge in privacy-obsessed Germany

Facebook is engaged in battles with privacy watchdogs all over the world. This week, it signalled a truce on home territory when Mark Zuckerberg admitted a "bunch of mistakes" on the issue and pledged a series of policy changes to satisfy American regulators.

The mea culpa was prompted by an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, which accused Facebook of “unfair and deceptive” practices that invaded its users’ privacy. The world’s dominant social network “deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public”, it charged.

By agreeing to get permission from users before exposing more of their data, and allowing external audits of his privacy systems, Mr Zuckerberg has ceded enough ground to avoid all-out war with the United States government ahead of Facebook’s $100bn public listing, expected next year.

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