Facebook To EU: Forced Data Sharing Could Be Dangerous

Facebook Tells EU That Forcing Data Sharing Could Have Unintended Consequences

Facebook told European Union (EU) regulators that it shouldn’t be forced to share the large amount of data it has with other companies, as that could have unintended potential liability and privacy risks, according to a report by Reuters.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said regulators are concerned that large tech companies could block out rivals, and her organization might have to compel them to give data to competitors so there would be an even playing field.

Facebook’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said he didn’t think that was a good idea.

“There is a fundamental tension between transferring people’s data, particularly when your data isn’t just yours but data that you share with friends, with groups, with other online communities from one surface to a competitor surface,” he said. Doing that, he continued, “clearly carries with it privacy risks.”

There was also the question of who would be responsible if the data sharing went wrong.

Clegg was in Brussels at the European Parliament to meet with new lawmakers, as well as European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and his colleague, Vera Jourova.

Clegg also talked about Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, saying the project wouldn’t move forward without getting necessary approval from regulators.

“We will not proceed unless regulators are satisfied, particularly U.S. regulators are satisfied, that we have ticked all the boxes,” he said.

Facebook also recently launched a new tool allowing users to transfer their photos and videos to other services.

The tool will roll out first in Ireland and go worldwide before July 2020.

“We are currently testing this tool, so we will continue refining it based on feedback from people using it as well as from our conversations with stakeholders,” Facebook said.

The new tool can be accessed from a user’s individual Facebook settings under “Your Facebook Information,” where data downloads are already available. Users must re-enter their password before the transfer is initiated.