Leaked Documents Reveal Facebook's Global War On Data Privacy Laws
Sunday March 3, 2019. 05:34 PM , from Slashdot
'Facebook threatened to pull investment projects from Europe and Canada if lobbying demands from COO Sheryl Sandberg were not met,' reports Business Insider, adding 'Canada buckled immediately.'
And that's just the beginning. The Observer reports:
Facebook has targeted politicians around the world -- including the former UK chancellor, George Osborne -- promising investments and incentives while seeking to pressure them into lobbying on Facebook's behalf against data privacy legislation, an explosive new leak of internal Facebook documents has revealed. The documents, which have been seen by the Observer and Computer Weekly, reveal a secretive global lobbying operation targeting hundreds of legislators and regulators in an attempt to procure influence across the world, including in the UK, US, Canada, India, Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and all 28 states of the EU...
The documents appear to emanate from a court case against Facebook by the app developer Six4Three in California, and reveal that Sandberg considered European data protection legislation a 'critical' threat to the company. A memo written after the Davos economic summit in 2013 quotes Sandberg describing the 'uphill battle' the company faced in Europe on the 'data and privacy front' and its 'critical' efforts to head off 'overly prescriptive new laws....' John Naughton, a Cambridge academic and Observer writer who studies the democratic implications of digital technology, said the leak was 'explosive' in the way it revealed the 'vassalage' of the Irish state to the big tech companies. Ireland had welcomed the companies, he noted, but became 'caught between a rock and a hard place... Its leading politicians apparently saw themselves as covert lobbyists for a data monster.'
A spokesperson for Facebook said the documents were still under seal in a Californian court and it could not respond to them in any detail: 'Like the other documents that were cherrypicked and released in violation of a court order last year, these by design tell one side of a story and omit important context.'
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