Facebook Crowned Privacy Villain Of 2016 By European Privacy Rights Group 07/10/2016 by Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A European civil society group defending rights and freedoms in the digital environment awarded Facebook the Belgian Big Brother Awards 2016 yesterday. The awards are based on a concept created by European Digital Rights initiative (EDRi) member Privacy International, and are negative prizes for “the worst privacy abuser.” The goal of those awards is to draw attention to violations of privacy, they said in a press release. The Belgian award was “unanimously granted to Facebook by the professional jury,” and the public confirmed Facebook’s title as the “ultimate privacy villain of the year.” “Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company that has one commodity – you!,” EDRi Executive Director Joe McNamee said in the release. According to EDRi, “Facebook is engaging in the same type of mass surveillance that the US National Security Agency is doing.” Three main reasons drove Facebook’s nomination, they said. The first is that Facebook has access to a wide range of personal data, including landline phone and mobile phone numbers, to use them as public identifiers for individuals. The second is that “Facebook tracks your movements across the web. It doesn’t matter if you are logged in or not. Every time you see a ‘like’ button on a website, your internet browser is talking to Facebook,” in order to identifiy visited pages and browsers for targeted advertising. The last reason is that “the devil is in the default,” as Facebook has automatic opt-in settings, and makes it difficult to find opt-out options. “Facebook has gained the power to control directly who you are, the social network can ‘engineer the public’ without the users’ knowledge. For years, Facebook has been carrying out experiments, for example to influence the mood of its users, or to manipulate their voting behavior,” they said. “To understand what privacy you are giving away when you use Facebook … well, that is impossible. Data algorithms that can make new assumptions about users are being constantly developed – even Facebook today would have difficulty knowing how they will use your data tomorrow,” said McNamee. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "Facebook Crowned Privacy Villain Of 2016 By European Privacy Rights Group" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.