Is Facebook Intentionally Violating Privacy Rights or is it A Matter of Negligence?

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Facebook recently, has filed a lawsuit against the “Israeli” monitoring company, “NOSO”, after it hacked the accounts of about 1400 users of “WhatsApp” owned by “Facebook” earlier this year.

The Israeli “NSO” group took advantage of the coded social platform in a campaign of penetration targeting journalists, human rights activists and other opponents and critics of the government.

Though the steps of this violation were not taken by “Facebook”, they denote major negligence on the part of the company, which must take strict measures against the hackers and those that exploit the application to violate freedoms and privacy.

Sanctions on Facebook

Last July, the US Federal Trade Commission decided to pay Facebook $ 5 billion to settle a government investigation into a violation of user privacy, in addition to the company restructuring of its privacy approach.

The committee revealed that “Facebook” has committed many violations of the users’ privacy, deceiving thousands of users who used the facial recognition technology offered by the social media company, and violated the privacy rules when it did not reveal that the phone numbers collected for a security feature will be used for advertising purposes.

Despite its frequent promises to stop hacking, espionage and breaches of privacy, Facebook continues with these procedures, either by intended steps or by mistake, which indicates significant neglect, requiring the existence of special rules and strict measures to protect users.

The US committee decision in July 2019 stipulated the formation of an independent privacy committee, ending the absolute control of Facebook President Mark Zuckerberg on decisions that affect the privacy of users, in addition to preventing the company from asking for e-mail passwords when people create their accounts.

The decision also stipulated that Facebook ıs prevented from using the phone numbers it obtains for security purposes for advertising purposes, and the company must obtain user’s permission to use facial recognition technology data.

However, it appears that these decisions did not make a deterrent to “Facebook”, since these repeated violations require more severe measures that prevent the company from violating the privacy of users and restricting their freedoms, which are maintained by international conventions and human rights laws.

Recommendations:

In light of what the report reviewed, and in light of the continued violations of the company “Facebook” against users, which amount to violations of human rights, especially the right to express opinion and the right to privacy, Skyline International highlights the following:

  • The continued violations of “Facebook”, whether intentional or unintentional, is a violation of the users’ right to privacy, and their right to save their personal information without disclosing it to any party.
  • “Facebook” must be well aware that its right to use information about individuals or view their privacy is limited to their agreement , and that its primary mission is to save the information it obtains, and not to sell or display it to any party, without the permission of the users.
  • The repeated Facebook violations need a strong deterrent, which is represented by strict American steps based on the company’s punishment for these violations, as it is an American company and is subjected to the laws applied in the United States.
  • The US Congress is required to intervene to investigate the increasing violations by Facebook and interrogate its administration, in addition to directing decisions to the US government to implement sanctions against the company.
  • Other countries should restrict Facebook’s powers over their networks and territories, as a kind of deterrence to a company that repeatedly violates user’s rights.
  • “Skyline International” requires users to restrict the access of “Facebook” and the company’s various applications to their mobile phones, as a precaution, in the light of the repeated violations.
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