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Upcoming EU Data Law Will Make Europe Tricky For Social Networks 168

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-information dept.
Thorfinn.au writes "EU politicians are mulling new data protection laws that could make Europe a hostile place for social networks. The EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding and the German Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Ilse Aigner drew up proposals for the new data protection law which reads: 'EU law should require that consumers give their explicit consent before their data are used. And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves. We both believe that companies who direct their services to European consumers should be subject to EU data protection laws. Otherwise, they should not be able to do business on our internal market. This also applies to social networks with users in the EU.'"
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Upcoming EU Data Law Will Make Europe Tricky For Social Networks

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  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:08AM (#38009844)

    ...Such as Google. Given that information posted on social networks is generally searchable, that information, once cached, is very, very difficult to erase.

    See: Wayback Machine. I've used this wonderful site myself, very recently, to grab snapshots of a website I helped set up in 1997 (kitbag.com, which sells sportswear), to show someone something (which was relevant to the conversation at the time, I can't remember now what that was all about even though it wasn't two weeks ago...). Said site now uses php, I believe; way back then it was coded in ASP.

    • by Mal-2 (675116) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:19AM (#38009902) Homepage Journal

      That would also make it awkward for search engines such as Google. Given that information posted on social networks is generally searchable, that information, once cached, is very, very difficult to erase.

      See: Wayback Machine. I've used this wonderful site myself, very recently, to grab snapshots of a website I helped set up in 1997 (kitbag.com, which sells sportswear), to show someone something (which was relevant to the conversation at the time, I can't remember now what that was all about even though it wasn't two weeks ago...). Said site now uses php, I believe; way back then it was coded in ASP.

      This only means that Google would have to respond to a takedown request directly from the person who owned the profile (or their heirs) -- they wouldn't be responsible for a request made to Facebook to delete data, because they would not receive a copy of that request. As for the data already cached, Facebook et al are going to have to do some major purging AND send search engines a request to do the same. Until they do, Google should not have to purge anything since they didn't originally collect it. Now this data protection act WOULD apply to Google+, but not so much to the search engine.

      • by Mal-2 (675116)

        (Bad form to reply to myself, but I just thought of this.)

        Google+ is still in beta. It is still within the realm of possibility that Google could comply by nuking ALL their stored data and making everyone build a new profile. Facebook would probably suffer badly if they decided to go this route.

        • Could they legally do that? Not having read the TOU nor am I up on current US IP regs... I would think though, as a sane man probably would (I make no absolute claim to sanity), that stapling "BETA" to a product and adding something to the TOU *would* cover them in this case... I could be dead wrong and stand to be corrected.

          • by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @05:26AM (#38010236)
            You make it sound like google has some kind of legal obligation to keep your g+ data alive. Had you PAID for their services you might have a leg to stand on, but at this point they're just being nice by NOT purging it!
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Tastecicles (1153671)

              good point, and well played.

              Another I just thought of is the fact that any decision taken in Europe will not apply to the UK. It is well established case law (recent decisions and reason by Judge LJ [localgover...wyer.co.uk] repeated from previous decisions such as those of Baroness Hale of Richmond and Sir Nicolas Wall, President of the Family Division of the High Court) that EU Law does not supercede UK domestic Law*. The UK currently does not have any specific legislation on the *destruction* by request, of personally identifiabl

              • by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @07:15AM (#38010668) Homepage Journal


                Another I just thought of is the fact that any decision taken in Europe will not apply to the UK. It is well established case law (recent decisions and reason by Judge LJ [localgover...wyer.co.uk] repeated from previous decisions such as those of Baroness Hale of Richmond and Sir Nicolas Wall, President of the Family Division of the High Court) that EU Law does not supercede UK domestic Law*.

                EU law does not superceede any national law in any country (well, perhaps with very few exceptions which I not aware off).
                The EU law system works like this: every new EU law is basically "reference" for wich the participating countries craft a similar national law. For that they usually have a grace period of about 5 years.
                And: the UK do the same, they also incorporate EU laws by issuing the relevant national laws.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Anonymous Coward

                  Furthermore the EcJ has ruled that EU laws can be used in lawsuits against governments. This specifically takes away a common reason for governments to delay issuing national laws. As the EcJ is supreme to national courts, the opinion of the UK courts is moot.

              • Uh, what? EU directives absolutely do affect UK law. The ECHR is completely irrelevant to this, because it is from the Council of Europe, which has nothing to do with the EU. Your argument makes as much sense as saying that the fact that the USA PATRIOT Act doesn't apply in the UK is evidence that EU laws don't apply in the UK.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by errandum (2014454)

          If you chose to delete your google+ account, it says it'll "try and destroy all data".

          Keyword, try - I deleted mine, no idea if they really destroyed anything, but it says there was no way to recover my account if I went through with it.

          • Well, there are reasons why it can't reasonably destroy all data - it would crash a lot of systems.

            For instance - suppose you make a post about something. This post sparks a massive amount of responses. Now you delete your post. What is supposed to happen?

            Should the entire discussion disappear? That seems unreasonable, as a lot of other people's time and effort has gone into debating this.

            What if we leave the discussion, but erase everything you wrote? Well ... what if they quote you - should that also be e

            • Well if you are really lazy you can always just delete the content contained in the post and leave any keys in place to maintain your referential integrity.
              • Sure, that keeps the database intact, but that'd make for a lot of interesting discussions, when the original post no longer exists.

                Hitler raped and ate babies alive!

                Hitler was not that evil.

                Now imagine that fictitious discussion without the parent post:

                Hitler was not that evil.

                Sure, your referential integrity is maintained, but the discussion integrity isn't.

                • You can't demand the total ability to delete the stuff you post on Internet discussion threads without incurring some sort of cost. There are already plenty of discussion boards where monitors delete objectionable content in a post and leave it in the discussion thread.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      I have had issues with Google myself and they were not interested in taking any action. I posted some comments to a BBC web site but due to the way the page was laid out the snippet presented in the Google search results was actually the half-baked half-xenophobic comment of the next person. Google's attitude was that the only way to get the information removed would be to have the BBC do it.

      In the end I contacted the BBC and rather than fix the page they just deleted it. There goes some otherwise useful co

    • by beh (4759) * on Thursday November 10, 2011 @05:04AM (#38010116)

      The wayback machine is a wonderful thing, yes... But a positive example doesn't negate a negative one.

      Guns are a good thing - they really helped that one time in the forest when a bear attacked you. They just sucked badly, when a good friend got shot.

      Cigarettes are a good thing, because they make you look 'cool' - until lung cancer sets in, at which case, cigarettes probably weren't quite as cool.

      The wayback machine is nice to look at some of your old work - but the wayback machine also allows you to remove your site from it - not an individual page or version, yes, but at least it does give you _some_ way to keep a lid on your data.

      But picture the bad side - you post something bad about a friend (after a fight you've had). Later you feel sorry for it - and you want to remove it; and you find, you can't.

      Another bad side may also be when you change opinions on something over time, and people find pages of you arguing 'the other side' - maybe you were against abortion at some point, now your pro abortion - and some of your pro-abortion friends might find pages of you advocating against (or vice versa).

      There are certainly things I argued 20 years back (_on the net_) that are still visible, but that I now see fallacies of. And I have no chance of removing the old comments. If you discuss something just among friends, you can, at least, hope that they'll forget it over time - or that they will also see how your change of heart comes about and therefore ignore what you said before.
      On the net, you don't have that choice.

      You may now argue, that people should think better before they post - but how often do you read the "How to avoid beginner's mistakes on XYZ", _before_ making some of them?
      In my case, 20 years ago, I wouldn't have thought that that data would still be around now; at least, not publicly - at the time, I just didn't think it was feasible storage-wise to keep it all. Now I know different.

      Today you might be thinking - well, whatever I post, I don't think anyone will be able to find it 10 years from now - but you're basing that thinking on technology that you see today; and you might think google will not have an easy time finding what you said 10 years ago, so it will not manage to do that 10 years from now, either. On the other hand, in those 10 years, technology will grow leaps and bounds - maybe in 10 years, you can just click on a photo of someone on the internet, and just right-click and select 'personal history' and the future google dredges up _all_ it can find on that person: from the 'more informed' comments that person might be making then, to childish comments uttered in the early 2000s.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by LordLucless (582312)

        That's great, but I think we should push it further. Why not extend it to countries? Then Germany can go back to the innocent ideologies it argued in its youth, and erase them from history books. America can go and remove references to all the pesky slaughtering of indigenous inhabitants they did during their younger days. Why should there be any accountability for actions done in the past, now that those who did them are older and wiser?

    • There's a difference between information uploaded somewhere and made publicly available, and information provided to a specific service. If I put something on a public web site that anyone can access, then it no longer counts as private information. If someone gives out my email address (or postal address) to an 'invite your friends' type form, or tags a photograph of me that's been uploaded and shared between friends, then that's still private information.

      This will mostly affect Google because things

    • by AftanGustur (7715)

      That would also make it awkward for search engines

      I think it is high time that companies realize that if you find some data on the internet it doesn't mean that it is yours to keep forever and do with as you please.

      That practice has to stop.

  • Surveillance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stooo (2202012) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:09AM (#38009846)

    the so called "Social networks" look more and more like voluntary surveillance databases !!

    • Re:Surveillance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:15AM (#38009884)
      I think that was Orwell's big mistake in 1984. I was thinking in cold war terms, of oppressive governments. He failed to anticipate the role that private industry would play in mass-surveillance, and the importance of financial interest as opposed to power-seeking.
      • He also failed to take marketing fully into account. There was always the need for doublethink in 1984. Back in the real world, it turns out that it's quite easy to persuade most of the population that having Big Brother watching them is a good thing.
        • How many people think that today without doublethinking? He didn't fail to take marketing into account, he didn't even forget to take nothinking into account, there is an entire passage on 1984 telling who doublethinking is for, and who doesn't need even that, because they aren't thinking at all. All said, he made marketing as powerfull that it is implicit on the book that even the people fighting Big Brother were convinced to do so by the MiniLove.

      • Yes, people always rant and rave about the evils of big brother (government) but often are silent when little brother (business) is worse. As it is now, little brother has gotten bigger than big brother. They can ruin your life with frivolous lawsuits which, even if you win, can leave you with huge lawyer bills. They dictate how you can use a device or software through questionable EULAs, contracts or licenses. Often when you are in the right, they offer a settlement where they admit no wrongdoing and y

      • Be sure to check out Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. It's like Nineteen Eighty-Four but with a private industry spin, foreseeing things like flatscreens, reality shows, censorship... Great stuff.
  • by Sqr(twg) (2126054) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:16AM (#38009886)

    Dear Service Provider, Please delete all my data (texts, phonecalls, emails, etc) that you have stored due to the data retention directive. Thank you.

    • by AvitarX (172628)

      Especially as only old people use email. Sitemail becomes an end-run around those laws, wrt email anyway (if that's supposed to be retained).

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Data that is kept under retention laws isn't available for commercial usage (afaik). It's only available for things like law enforcement, which means that while it can be misused, such misuse is highly unlikely to become widespread.

      Same cannot be said about your data on social networks, not by a long shot.

      • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

        Imo, there is very little difference between chat conversation on facebook and text messages on a cell phone. If I can request deletion of the former, then why not the other?

        If "deleting" means that a copy is kept for "things like law enforcement" then it's not really deleting.

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          That would depend on what you're trying to achieve by deleting. If you want to maintain your privacy, then forbidding any kind of corporate use is sufficient. Keep in mind, this is EU, not US, most European countries have very different attitudes towards law enforcement and in return law enforcement people have a very different attitude towards general population - we largely do not have the authority-hating culture based on frontiersmen like one you have in US for historic reasons.

          On the other hand, if you

          • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

            My point is: the law is unenforceable if "deleting" is not deleting.

            - Hey, the law says you have to delete that!
            - I did.
            - But it's still on your hard drive!
            - No, that's just a copy in case law enforcement ever asks for it.
            - Oh, OK then.

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              It's very EASILY enforceable. Your example is just slightly incorrect in all the important places:

              - Hey, law says you have to remove access to that data for all but law enforcement
              - I did
              - But it's still on your hard drive
              - It is, but it's only accessible to a few people with proper authorization, and cannot be given to anyone or viewed by anyone but these people without legal authorisation, and the people who have authorisation are bound by legally mandated NDA in regards to this data
              - Oh, OK then.

              This is

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          The difference is in deleting the copy on the other person's cell phone.

  • Yawn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:18AM (#38009894)
    Heavens forbid we might actually regain control over our data again. Oh the humanity, how ever will the industry survive? They might need to actually check and track data internally after they've raped and pillaged it (although you can't rape the willing).
  • by pmontra (738736) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:25AM (#38009942) Homepage
    It seems the EU believes that some social network practices are hostile to its citizens and I can hardly disagree. Remember those complaints to fb [europe-v-facebook.org] from that group of Austrian students? It's an interesting reading for anybody who designs any service handling customer data (basically all of them).
    • by cbope (130292) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @05:08AM (#38010136)

      This is very much in line with current EU consumer data protection laws. I'm glad to see the EU taking a strong stance in online privacy. Unfortunately it will hit companies that sell consumer data for profit but well, I can't really feel sorry for them. You should not be able to sell data about ME without my consent, period. I am not living on this planet to provide data mining opportunities for companies into this sort of thing.

  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:27AM (#38009952)

    And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves.

    Very interesting language. It suggests that data you haven't posted might be considered yours. I wonder how this applies to a range of gray areas social networking sites provide - such as someone posting a compromising photo of you, or even more interesting, something you've posted but someone else shared/reposted.

    • such as someone posting a compromising photo of you, or even more interesting, something you've posted but someone else shared/reposted.

      you should be able to take down a compromising photo of you via the complaint process... and there should be a setting you can invoke for your posts to deny sharing. Difficult to stop reposting as basically they're taking what you posted and posting themselves.

      • oh and PS. I would like to see a setting in Facebook which tells Google and other search spiders that my profile is NOT to be spidered... kinda like robots.txt... pity so many bloody ignore it though...
    • by xaxa (988988)

      And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves.

      Very interesting language. It suggests that data you haven't posted might be considered yours. I wonder how this applies to a range of gray areas social networking sites provide - such as someone posting a compromising photo of you, or even more interesting, something you've posted but someone else shared/reposted.

      Under existing law, I have some rights about data that I didn't create, but which is about me. E.g. I can view it and require incorrect facts to be corrected. The data must not be shared without my consent.

      It seems reasonable to decide whether (a) a photograph of me, and (b) the 'tag' identifying me in the photo, and (c) the comment about me on the photo are data about me, even though I didn't take, upload, tag or comment on the photo. Personally, I think (a) and (b) are, and (c) could be -- depending wh

      • by henni16 (586412)
        As to (a) and (b): under German law you have a right to your own likeness, i.e. in theory other people aren't even allowed to distribute materials depicting you without your permission. No idea how that is done in the rest of the EU, though
    • by henni16 (586412)

      Not that surprising.
      There's usually stuff you post yourself (e.g. this comment) and then there's information about you that the company collects (e.g. tracking what websites you've looked at or who you've interacted with).

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @04:34AM (#38009982)
    I disagree with the earlier poster who said it was difficult to delete data once it was cached. That is not true. A data "cache" by its very nature is transitory; once the cache is routinely updated, "cached" data that has been deleted goes away.

    If it doesn't, then it isn't "cached" at all... it is stored. That is a different matter. Like the WayBack machine that was used as a (bad) example. WayBack doesn't "cache" data, it stores it for long term.

    But none of that has any real relevance for "social networks", except for items that are explicitly made public. Certainly it is true that nobody has a right to expect privacy or exclusivity to data that has been deliberately made public.

    What this really affects is your private communications and connections to other people, and what you have stored on some social network that ISN'T public. I happen to agree that somebody should have the right to delete such "personal" or "private" data, and that when it is deleted, it should go away... permanently.

    We all know that Facebook reserves the right to store data permanently. Your deleted data is truly deleted, but their TOS explicitly says that they have no obligation whatever to delete data from their archives. That would indeed run afoul of the European data protection laws... but so what? That's Facebook's problem. There is nothing that says a perfectly good and legitimate social network could not be built that conforms to those laws.
    • I may stand corrected on this issue, with one caveat:

      Would Google's use of the term "cached" not apply if it meant it in the transitory sense, in that hardware may fail at any point causing the data, which for whatever reason is not mirrored, to be lost forever? Does that not fulfil the technical requirement of proper use of the term "cached"?

      • Well, it depends on the intent.

        However, I must say that as far as I know, Google's use of the term "cache" is pretty loose and may in fact be technically incorrect, if I understand what they are actually doing. (I am presuming here that you mean how they make pages that are no longer normally available via a "cached" link.) I am not 100% certain, but I am pretty sure that those are actually copies of sites that are in long-term storage, not actual caches at all.

        I suppose, if you really wanted to split
    • by Kjella (173770)

      I disagree with the earlier poster who said it was difficult to delete data once it was cached. That is not true. A data "cache" by its very nature is transitory; once the cache is routinely updated, "cached" data that has been deleted goes away.

      That is one way of using cache, but not the only way. For example you could have an image cache that works on a LRU principle, give a hash get a picture in return. There's no "routinely updated", just that what hasn't been used in a long time falls off the cache. If a user deletes a picture - or what is really the reference to a picture, how long until you can be absolutely sure it's fallen off every cache and you've complied with the deletion request? Answer: You can't. You have to explicitly send all comm

      • That's true. All I really meant was that a "cache" is supposed to be temporary in nature, and should expire after a time. As opposed to, for example, an archive.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      A "cache" is a "store". In computer parlance it's a temporary store, but only CPU cache (or a RAMdisk cache) is actually volatile by definition. Any other type of storage cache tends to hold its contents until it degrades or they are *deliberately* erased.

  • And consumers generally should have the right to delete their data at any time, especially the data they post on the internet themselves

    We need an automatic Streisand Amplification System that immediately draws attention to anything a user has requested deletion of. Especially if it's pictures.

  • Companies that are archiving personal information for such purposes as being evaluated for a job position will just keep the data offshore.

    If you don't want your private life made public, don't put it on the net.

  • Only for bad sites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @05:00AM (#38010102)

    EU politicians are mulling new data protection laws that could make Europe a hostile place for social networks that claim ownership of your data, don't let you delete it, and sell it to everyone

    FTFY

  • http://europe-v-facebook.org/EN/en.html [europe-v-facebook.org] Lets face it social networks are scum. I do not do face palm, twitter or any other social networking sites. It is better for you not to follow the sheep for publicity use either as an individual or a business.

    The best overview of Social Networks based on my life experience of well over 40 years, is simply like real life friends and so called friends. When you have money, a nice car, a nice house etc people want to know you. The same if you are famous. When all your mo

  • Excellent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @05:28AM (#38010254)
    The requirement to be able to query, amend and delete the personal information stored by any entity (public or private) is already present in the national laws of many EU member states, and has been for years. For once, european legislation won't bend to pave the way for some large company's business model. Which should be the rule and not an exception, frankly.

    Facebook will have no problems complying with the law. All the service providers working in the individual EU countries which protect privacy already do.

  • I have never used Facebook, never signed in to their service, never clicked on a button to like anything but still they seem to have created a profile for me and started to spam trying to force me to sign in. I tracked down the data to the (IMHO illegal) scan of address books of friends of mine who weren't aware that Facebook were to use this data to build profiles for people who don't use their service and then would start a spam regime to try to get those to sign in. If I were to pursue this issue current
  • +1 / like (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @05:54AM (#38010364) Homepage Journal

    Always happy to see there are areas left where politicians are not busy selling us out to corporations.

    I absolutely want to have to give explicit permission before people use my data. And yes, I want to be able to remove my data.

    Does it cause some additional work? Yes, it does. I have several web-based games that will be affected by a law like this. But seriously, what it means is an additional tick box during the signup ("by signing up I agree... bla bla") and having to track who posted what and removing it when he wants to. Probably easiest solution is to add a button saying "delete all my posts" somewhere.
    So, all in all, an hour or two of work.

    So, FB with your billions of revenue, stop whining.

  • I call BS!

    Hostile to the present "give us all your data, they are our property forever, we won't even ask when collecting it, we will sell it to the highest bidder" model - yes. Hostile to Social Networks in general - resounding NO! In fact under such conditions I will open social network account which I will never do under the present paradigm.
     

  • Say Facebook et al. won't surrender to these new regulations, for whatever reasons. So according to the proposal, these social networks would no longer be allowed to do business on the EU's internal market â" which would be enforced exactly how? By blocking their DNS entries on a pan-European level, pissing of dozens of millions of users (i.e. voters); or at least those who aren't tech-savy enough to circumvent such futile attempts in the first place?

    Bring it on, I'd say! Let's see who holds the whip h

    • by ledow (319597) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @07:00AM (#38010612) Homepage

      Ring up all the credit-card companies and tell them that Facebook Inc. (or whatever company name does the handling for them) is not to be dealt with by European countries until they have settled their outstanding lawsuit for trading in the EU without complying with EU legislation.

      Being in the EU, the banks, credit card companies, PayPal, etc. would be obliged to act on such court orders (which are really nothing more than seizing funds made and held in the EU until the EU courts are satisfied that everything is above-board) in the same way that they would be obliged to freeze accounts related to criminal activity which happens every day (for everything from local drug dealers to relatives of Gadaffi).

      Facebook would lose ~50% of their direct income immediately and be racking up the fines required to actually release those funds every day.

      People think that just because you're international you can't stop people trading. The point is that people who *trade* in the EU are making money from it, and you can stop that money directly without having to fight against DNS-bypassing clients. If they weren't trading in the EU, it probably would be a hundred times more difficult to stop but even then - you can make it extremely tricky for a large company like Facebook by doing things like applying for their CEO to be extradited on charges, freezing their accounts, convicting them in their absence (and thus preventing travel to an awful lot of countries), etc.

      You're doing business in the EU. You can break EU law if you really want but the fact is that it's an incredibly stupid things to do and will come back on you ten times harder.

      MS traded in the EU and broke our laws. We fined them millions of Euro's that they had to pay. If they'd refused (and they did put up a bit of a fight), you can just embargo their products, seize their European assets, and chase them through international courts because as soon as you do *business* in a country, you come under it's jurisdiction.

      In the worst case, I'm sure that blocking DNS would be the last resort and a bit pointless. But they sure can deal you a lot worse problems before that happens, even if you don't have *permanent* assets in the country by stopping EU businesses like credit card companies, etc. from dealing with you or your subsidiaries.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      Say Facebook et al. won't surrender to these new regulations, for whatever reasons. So according to the proposal, these social networks would no longer be allowed to do business on the EU's internal market" which would be enforced exactly how?

      Facebook Ireland, who take all the money for marketing to EU organisations, would be closed. Their datacentres in Europe would be closed.

      Facebook could remain accessible throughout all this, but there'd be room for a competitor to start, and a recently vacated market greater than the USA... would Facebook risk that?

      The USA has a list of countries and organisations with which it's not permitted to do business -- Cuba, etc. I don't think Europe has such a thing, but it could be done. Then it would be illega

  • by phrostie (121428)

    can we get that passed here in the U.S. too?

  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @09:33AM (#38011464) Homepage

    Who wrote this summary anyway?

    What is so *hostile* for social networks?

    That when users press 'delete' on a post they made of facebook, then Facebook will actually have to delete the post instead of only hiding it like it does today.

    If Facebook wants to play in Europe then either they start to follow privacy rules or they step aside and give someone else a chance that does.

    I bet you anything that if facebook is faced with the choise of not doing business or folloing privacy rules, they will choose to stay in business.

    • by pclminion (145572)

      What is so *hostile* for social networks?

      I don't know about social networks, but here's why it would really suck for forums. Say you're a prolific poster on a programming forum. You answer, or participate in, a dozen threads a day. Your words are widely quoted throughout threads. These threads are of general benefit to the programming world at large. This forum is indexed by Google, and comes up near the top of the search results for some very common programming terms.

      Somebody on the forum thinks you are

      • by AftanGustur (7715)

        What is so *hostile* for social networks?

        I don't know about social networks, but here's why it would really suck for forums. Say you're a prolific poster on a programming forum. You answer, or participate in, a dozen threads a day. Your words are widely quoted throughout threads. These threads are of general benefit to the programming world at large. This forum is indexed by Google, and comes up near the top of the search results for some very common programming terms.

        Somebody on the forum thinks you are cool, and uses a quote of something witty you said as their signature line.

        Now, one day you wake up with a burr up your ass. You request that the forum destroy all your information. In order to do this, all your posts must be purged. All posts which quote your posts must be purged. All those valuable threads, which went far beyond just you, and developed into valuable information sources for thousands of people, must be purged. All the posts that guy made who had your quote in his signature line must be purged. It's not just YOUR words that have to go, hundreds of other people's posts are affected as well. The usefulness of the forum is at an all time low. People start wondering why the entire forum got deleted. People stop coming to the site. Google ceases indexing it. The forum is dead.

        Your post gave me a good laugh.. You obviously aren't from Europe or you have no clue about the laws that already protect your privacy. (But you are good at making funny horror stories)

        Here in Europe you can already ask any company for a copy of all data they may have on you and force them to correct it if you find any errors. What companies can do with your data is also severely restricted.

        Just so you have some idea about how strict the law for European companies already is, the French CNIL [www.cnil.fr] conside

  • [..] making Europe a hostile place for social networks.

    More like making Europe a hostile place for hostile social networks. Keeping everything around forever, or at least until they decide it's no longer in their interest to keep it around, is the standard mode for social networks. Makes sense, since this is valuable data to mine or sell and implementing features that allow you to clean up after yourself isn't exactly free either.

    But given the choice, I'd prefer something like Google+ that puts me in control of my own data - say Diaspora? Sure, companies like G

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