Wednesday, January 9, 2013

EU & U.S. Social Media Cos. Clash Over Personal Data Use

European Union
European Union (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Facebook and Google are fighting efforts by the European Union to restrict social media companies' efforts to sell users' personal data to advertising companies, according to a report by Reuters news service.

The growth of mining Internet users' data, such as browsing habits, by social media platforms, including Facebook and Google, has grown exponentially. The Reuters article estimates that Facebook could reap $10 annually from each user's clicking on ads, not exactly small change for a company that boasts 1 billion users.

EU lawmakers, concerned that its citizens have not given permission to have their personal data used in such a manner, are lining up behind European Parliament Member Jan Philipp Albrecht, who produced a report based on the European Commission last year calling for stricter data protection. Albrecht is expected to reveal his plan this week and the EU will vote on his final report in April, Reuters reported.

The plan may include provisions enabling authorities to levy fines against customer data violaters.
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