Europe versus Facebook

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Information wants to be free.

This is the counter issue to intellectual property. It can either be argued that data can be freely replicated or the reverse, which is why I find the discussion about privacy from a legal perspective a bit odd.

The bottom line is - if you want to keep stuff secret, make every attempt to keep it that way. Blaming others for using* publicly exposed data is a bit daft.

  • typo - previously abused
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I think that’s a ridiculous position. Firstly, the word “abusing” makes it so, but let’s replace that with “using”. Its still seems ridiculous to me because the idea that because something is “public” makes it fair game for someone to use. Suppose someone was following you and noting down everything you go and what you do in public?

So what if they did? Why should I be able to use force to stop them simply observing my actions in a public place?

Abusing was a typo - I meant using.

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Because it amounts to abuse: intimidation for example. I’ve experienced this and if you have not, you might want to try and imagine what it is like.

You may not agree with things like a right to privacy, and to live without fear of intimidation because it impinges on an ideological position: disagreement with coercion perhaps? But to me that is ridiculous. What constitutes coercion? People can be coerced in many ways, and are, that fall far short of violence.

Just gathering information is not intimidation. The former does not imply the latter.

If data is being gathered with a nefarious motivation, then you may have a case against the individual. However, collecting information alone is not aggressive - a bit creepy maybe, but not threatening or coercive for that matter.

edit: fwiw, violence is where the rubber hits the tarmac. Without it, you just have other people making suggestions. Much like laws, without the threat of the stick, all you have is the carrot.

Here’s where you skid off the runway again… :smiley:


Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them. The word stalking is used, with some differing meanings, in psychology and psychiatry and also in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense. :smiley:

Its not an acceptable business practice, it leads to mass surveilance and a general sense of always being watched, never at ease and a sense that material will be gathered and used out of context against you. Its a breach of the peace to unnecesarily make others feel apprehension.

There is no need to encourage or allow bullshit business models. There is no need even to allow any business model where the company gets more out of a transantion on an individual or aggregate basis than the public or customers as its profit inefficient and its definitely something taxes can and do fix. Personally I think there should be an aggrevation factor when its done for profit that makes it crminal, Id welcome the chilling effect.

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Lol…I’m largely in agreement but I’d be feeling a bit “unnecessarily apprehensive” if I had a profit motive and would probably start worrying about any “aggravating factors” Ihat may be levelled against me by my accusers…while I’m being bundled towards Madame Guillotine…
Maybe a “chilling effect” too far…replacing one tyranny with another…
Just sayin’… :smiley:
I think we can sort with taxes and the like as you suggested though

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I am aware it is a criminal offence, but there are many crimes which are not logical, fair or consist.

Just documenting what someone is doing takes nothing from them. If they were unaware it was happening, they would be none the wiser.

However, if someone is purposely trying to intimidate, through stalking etc, then it goes beyond data collection. My point isn’t that it is fine to behave in a threatening way. My point is that gathering and data is not, in itself, threatening.

But there is a line.

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I agree, but finding that line is critical.

We can ban all guns because we think someone may shoot someone. We can ban all cameras to stop paedophiles taking even one photo. We can ban encryption because someone may plot dastardly deeds.

Are guns, cameras or computers inherently evil? No, it is how they are used. The same goes for gathering data.

If the courts’ central purpose was finding the point where peaceful action became aggressive action, I would be a happy man. Instead, people lobby to ban everything which may lead to aggression, which saddens me greatly.

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@traktion you are using the same logic the US / UK governments, NSA and GCHQ use to justify mass surveillance.

You have also ignored my points about the right to privacy, and the fact that coercion does not require violence.

Suggesting that it all depends on intent is a very weak defence of what the law, and I suggest, most people, would regard as unacceptable, and intimidating behaviour. I’d like to see how you reacted to being subjected to it.


@traktion For me the line is not wanting corporate or state surveiling cameras everwhere. The state will piggyback. Its already got them in almost all the CA intersections.

Its like that show “Person of Interest.” In the show cameras are everwhere and powerful AIs strugle against each other with the data. It does seem cameras are everywhere already and Google has this plan to map interior spaces to complete its AR map with cellphone cameras that switch on at strategic times with spherical vision cameras. The line with google has been care about license plates, roof tops (but I think the EPA should get that data for businesses) and care about not providing views of property that would help in casing for buglary. The indirect sat view stuff seems capable of looking into windows at a steep angle, but they dont let us zoom all the way down,

We have agreed this is generally a good idea in UK, though some exceptions exist…
The cameras and computers are a different matter I think.

I think there is also a certain responsibility that goes along with how technology is implemented.
Going back to guns and the “technology is neutral” argument: If a manufacturer had a choice of making guns with or without a safety catch, but chose not to,even though he had the both the knowledge of how to make a catch and the potential consequences of not doing so - Has he made a morally neutral choice in how to implement the technology?
You are right though that it is how things are used and implemented in the first place where the “law” would be concerned - not with the technology itself. Owning cameras is fine, installing them in my bedroom and gathering information without my knowledge, then selling to “Mancunian Adonis-like”, would raise a number of issues… :smiley:

More socialist nonsense…

“Basically we are asking Facebook to stop mass surveillance, to (have) a proper privacy policy that people can understand, but also to stop collecting data of people that are not even Facebook users,” 27-year-old Schrems told AFP in an interview this week.

  • There’s nothing in TFA about what this “mass surveillance” is about.
  • It’s not FB’s fault that people are stupid and can’t understand their T&C’s. If you as a prospective user don’t understand it, don’t press the freaking I agree button. Can this be any easier?
  • They can collect public data on anyone they want. If this is illegal then everyone who places “social buttons” on their Web site should be a co-defendant.

My conclusion: a bunch of nanny state socialists want to scam out some money from FB. Move along, nothing to see here.

@janitor it fascinates me that people (e.g you and me) with such different attitudes to other “people” are brought together in support of a common project.

Who are we to judge what is reasonable to expect of everyone else? You and I have had massive advantages in life compared to most facebook users, who represent the incredible diversity of human beings.

What is your definition of stupid? Someone less “intelligent” than, er, you or me? Someone with less time to read Ts & Cs? Someone too young to see facebook in a greater context? Someone who’s parents didn’t read to them as a child? Someone who hasn’t worked in technology for years?

The list is endless, and I hope illustrates how meaningless it is to set standards in this way and then ridicule those who disagree with you based on them.

A definition of stupid in this context is not about being less intelligent or untrained in legalese, but about deliberately not acting irresponsibly while at the same time expecting others to gladly fix things for you.

My thinking about this type of stupidity is like this:

  • FB provides a free service. Why would they do that? Never mind, let’s just use all its features regardless.
  • FB presents you with a complex set of rules. Why are they so complex? Never mind, let’s just agree, I simply must be on FB now and in any case the government will protect me!
  • FB uses your data in ways that you don’t like or didn’t expect. Do they go back to the T&C’s to check whether FB actually violated the agreement? I couldn’t tell what specifically they complained about because the article was stingy on details (probably for a reason, such as “the lawsuit is bullcrap”).
  • FB “damaged” my privacy. What’s the damage? Who cares, let’s just ask for EUR 500.

So it’s really a pattern of behavior that I’m complaining about.
GIven a chance the same people would vote on democratic elections to enslave you for their own convenience. That’s the problem.

You are making a judgement (several) and using this to ridicule people. It comes down to your beliefs and attitude. None of this is “reasonable” but is opinion, which in turn is based on background, experiences etc. We’re all different, and to ridicule people for being who they are is distasteful to me. Its all lazy. Labelling to make oneself feel better, and while it has some truth (yes, people have the potential to become more aware, to act more autonomously), it is a fact that many (the majority I think you’d probably agree) have expectations that corporations, laws and government will look after them. This makes those who disagree with this (like you an me) “wrong headed” from their perspective, perhaps in need of help! I think you fail to express, or grasp, the bigger picture. Its fair enough for people to pursue a corporation through the courts if that’s what the system allows. We may have our opinions about this, but ridiculing them as stupid, or worse, says a lot about you. Its a mirror.

Okay, let’s agree to disagree.

I just visited their site ( and just like I thought, it’s a bunch of nanny state socialists:

Today Facebook is a monopoly. Because Facebook drained the users from all other networks there is no realistic choice to chose an other provider.


Presumably for benefiting from tax advantages Facebook is running an Irish This does not only mean that facebook is saving a lot of money but that Irish and European data protection and consumer law applies.

Very important! Shake them down, you can’t go wrong!

Facebook is collecting data about people without their knowledge.

So? They can’t notify users they don’t have about collected data. And data is either public or was uploaded or created by users “friends”. Their claim won’t fly.

Users cannot see the settings under which content is distributed that they post on other’s pages.

I suppose that if they could, then they’d complain that FB shares info about their own settings to other people. A very basic question about this way of thinking that I mentioned before is "if you don’t know what the rules are, what the heck are you doing posting your content there?"
Of course if you post content elsewhere, you shared it and it’s gone. Any user (including the page owner) who sees it can share it elsewhere without your permission. They’re clueless about property rights.

The privacy policy is vague, unclear and contradictory. If European and Irish standards are applied, the consent to the privacy policy is not valid.

Why did they agree to the vague, unclear and contradictory policy? It’s like people who claim they don’t need to return a borrowed book to the public library because they didn’t understand the conditions.

The new face recognition feature is an inproportionate violation of the users right to privacy.


In its terms, Facebook says that it does not guarantee any level of data security.

Wow. And who does?
I wonder what kind of guarantees are offered by the government, Mozilla Foundation and let’s say Factom (or some other project we know). Once I know more maybe I’d change my mind and judge FB by the same standard.

Facebook is hosting enormous amounts of personal data and it is processing all data for its own purposes.

This is outrageous! I thought they process it in public interest.

The Like Button is creating extended user data that can be used to track users all over the internet. There is no legitimate purpose for the creation of the data. Users have not consented to the use.

Yes they have, because by accessing any site, you consent to use its contents.
Did the users of consent to have their data collected by Google Analytics? I don’t remember I did, but in any case, should that mean I have a “right” to ask Google (or the operator) to compensate me for the loss of my privacy? Let’s not be ludicrous.

Users can be added to groups without their consent. Users may end up in groups that lead other to false impressions about a person.

I can create a JSON object, call it bozos, put those activists’ personal details in an array inside of that object and they can sue me for defamation or something?

What a gigantic waste of time this topic is. I give up.

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