The EU has hardly heard the echo’s fade from its announcement to redress the imbalance of data harvesting and controls enjoyed by the likes of Google, Facebook et al to the cries from these self-same organization.
Organizations that only yesterday were crying foul, that it is not necessary, then demonstrate arrogantly to us precisely WHY these changes to the law are so overdue:
1. Facebook risk their members privacy by forcing user profile changes that will expose millions of users previously private data and life events when they switch on their Timeline.
2. Google collapse all their data across all their divisions into a single resource.
For Facebook this is par for the course. It has always put its own interests and the use of its member’s data first before the wishes of their users. This action is a blatant challenge to regulatory authority in the face of the new EU regulation proposal that state users will have a ‘right to be forgotten’. Such a basic right challenges and strikes at the heart of the Facebook business model, placing the rights firmly back into the hands of the individual where they belong.
For Google it rips away the pretences of fair play in their handling of the huge volumes of personal data as they give unilateral access to it across all its divisions. Flying in the face of best practice they demonstrate a crass arrogance, this is not just the merging of one or two associated lines of business but 70 different service streams. The pretence that this has been done in the best interests of users would be laughable if not so serious and assault on users trust. The truth is it will add value to Google and their marketing/advertising engine and blend users data without recourse.
As I said only yesterday in my blog ‘New EU Data Laws’ commending the EU announcement for its bold step in which I champion the regulators to withstand the prospective onslaught to their authority and ultimate credibility that is coming from Commercial interest and to see these proposals into legislation. Law’s that will need teeth to tame the feral business models and cash cows like Google and Facebook.