Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
- Millionaire Tyupkin Malware ATM Hackers May Come to US, India After Hitting Europe - October 23, 2014
- BitLicense Will Allow Bitcoin Spying in New York - October 22, 2014
- Australians are Fighting Data Retention Laws - October 22, 2014
NSA and Facebook spying is a bad combination. We know that the NSA has taken user data from Facebook. And we know that Facebook has a long history of taking user data and violating user privacy. We also know that both NSA and Facebook spying techniques are evolving to compensate for recent protests and rulings. To stop both NSA and Facebook spying, we need to take action against the data gathering that makes it possible.
The way that Facebook was originally set up goes against people’s privacy rights. Despite many protests and government directives, Facebook spying continues. This month, the company said that it was going to use our browsing histories and other Internet data for their advertising. This means any personal data that is already part of Facebook spying plus any other data they can get from your traffic and browser. This data can furthermore be sold to companies and shared with the government. And this level of Facebook spying means that even people who don’t have Facebook accounts are at risk.
Facebook spying has been closely tied with the advertising part of the company’s business strategy. This put our data in the hands of hundreds of marketers. Facebook spying is also closely tied with NSA data gathering. With these new data gathering practices, Facebook spying will mean a new way for the NSA to get our data. This is frustrating after the many months spend protesting both NSA and Facebook spying. If Facebook spying is allowed to continue, we will once again lose our right to privacy on the Internet.
Facebook Spying for the NSA
The European Court of Justice has been called on to investigate NSA and Facebook spying. Judge Gerard Hogan of the Irish High Court made the request after passing his ruling on Facebook spying. The US and EU entered into a transatlantic agreement in 2000. That year, the EU considered US data privacy policies to be compatible and comparable with their own. After Edward Snowden burst that bubble, the EU has had to go over similar agreements repeatedly.
Judge Hogan said that what we now know about NSA spying (aided by Facebook spying) seems to have also revealed faults in US data privacy policies. They may no longer be deemed fit in accordance with EU data privacy policies. He therefore requested a review by the European Court of Justice. It is this EU high court that will decide whether the agreement stands. If the European Court of Justice finds US data protection inadequate, EU regulators may be allowed to investigate further. These data protection regulators will determine if Facebook spying has caused EU citizens’ data to be passed on to the NSA.
Max Schrems, a law student in Austria, started this move with a request submitted to the data regulator in Ireland. When the data regulator ignored his complaint, he filed a case. Schrems is leading a privacy advocacy group fighting against Facebook spying that leads to data leaks. Because of what Snowden showed the world, Schrems et al want to get to the bottom of this. This case focuses on the NSA’s invasive and unsupervised surveillance through Facebook spying and passing data on to the agency.