Facebook to work with government on privacy issues

Summary

Representatives from Facebook met with federal privacy commissioner Bart Tommelein yesterday to discuss the social media network’s new regulations

“Growing pains”

Social media giant Facebook is prepared to discuss changes to its privacy policy in response to concerns expressed by Belgium’s privacy commission, according to Bart Tommelein, secretary of state for privacy issues. Tommelein held a meeting with a number of Facebook representatives yesterday.

The site, where half of the Belgian population maintains a profile, changed its privacy policy from 1 February to allow them to sell any photos posted in advertisements or to use the location of your mobile device to push targeted ads. Facebook also gathers data from apps that use Parse, a service allowing developers to generate ads and income from their apps.

The privacy conditions are not all new – Facebook has always gathered data on website activity via its Like button – but the privacy commission told the company that it was considering a legal complaint. Facebook then asked for a meeting with Tommelein.

“I expressed my concerns,” said Tommelein, “and I also realised that the company is acting in good faith. But that there are certain growing pains. I advised them to do something about their communications.”

Facebook will have to answer the questions raised by the privacy commission, Tommelein said. “They must ensure that they are complying with the law, both at national and at European level, and take care of any problems.”

Both Facebook and the government would like to see a European regulation on privacy, he said.

Photo courtesy norebbo.com