back to article Facebook privacy policy change leaves Dutch stomping feet

Facebook is under investigation by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) after it unveiled plans to overhaul its new privacy policy in November. The social network says the new policy was an attempt to “simplify” its privacy rules, but the College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens (the Dutch DPA) is concerned about the use of …

  1. json
    Thumb Up

    The zuck has blinked..

    .. looks like messenger is back on the mobile FB apps. I never did like (and never installed) the standalone I-want-access-to-everything-on-your-mobile FB messenger.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: The zuck has blinked..

      I went one step further - I have never, and will never, have a Facebook account and deliberately disable the Facebook app on my 'droid phone. If I ever find that they have any information on me, I will happily drop them in a whoel barrel-load of c**p - face(book) down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The zuck has blinked..

        If I ever find that they have any information on me, I will happily drop them in a whoel barrel-load of c**p

        Leaving aside the difficulty you'll have establishing that they hold data on you, I have bad news. They already have your details by using the barn-sized backdoor in Data Protection policies worldwide: they don't ask you directly for your data, they simply get it from your friends. A good example of that is, for instance, WhatsApp which ships your entire address book to a US server that now also belongs to Facebook. WhatsApp won't even start without having permission to grab your address book, not on iOS and not on Android.

        Until companies like FB and Google are forced to also seek permission from you if they grab your data from a 3rd party you're pretty much screwed. Unless you have no friends, of course.

        1. Looper
          FAIL

          Re: The zuck has blinked..

          "They already have your details by using the barn-sized backdoor in Data Protection policies worldwide".

          Did you miss the part where he said he never has, and never will have a facebook account?

    2. Tom 35

      Re: The zuck has blinked..

      The mobile FB app alread has I-want-access-to-everything-on-your-mobile permissions so who cares. Just remove both and use a web browser. Not as easy to post pictures of you food, but works fine when a company tells you to look for info on their facebook page.

  2. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Groan...

    oh for the halcuon days when the prime focus of the web was NOT to pry into everyone's private lives and to not push advertising at the general public at all costs.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Groan...

      You mean when it was rubbish because nobody was investing money in it, companies thought a GeoCities page done by the boss' nephew was a "web presence", and we didn't have decent internet even if there was content worth waiting for?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Groan...

      oh for the halcyon days when the prime focus of a mobile phone was to make phone calls while mobile, not use it for all this "social media" crap!!

  3. Zog_but_not_the_first
    FAIL

    Not even a little schmoke...

    ... can smooth this one over. Upsetting the Dutch? It's unheard of. Facebook must be, well...

    1. James 51

      Re: Not even a little schmoke...

      Bit of effort and you could turn Amish Paradise into a protest song.

  4. TheWeddingPhotographer

    This does need sorting out

    We have a lot of this to come

    Facebook - a Ireland based company?

    We see a lot of international businesses, cherry picking where they are based, pay tax, and deciding which jurisdiction they want to use as a law base... and bit by bit this is starting to unravel

    Example: Rightly so, the East, and Middle East, who have a different set of moral and social rules are starting to want to enforce their view of the world onto internet behaviour

    Example Rightly so, the UK population are monumentally pissed at the Googles and Starbucks of this world who shift monies about to avoid taxes paid in the UK

    There has been a huge shift in the way we trade, and the way we communicate, and legislation has lagged a long way behind. Meanwhile, the UN seems toothless in all aspects of anything

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook - a Ireland based company?

      Yes, the beer's better in Ireland than in the US, I firmly believe that's the reason that so many companies are copying us and moving to Ireland.

      All the best for the New Year,

      Mark Z.

      1. ratfox
        FAIL

        Re: Facebook - a Ireland based company?

        The big failure is that the European laws allows any business to declare its income in a single country. The goal was to allow small businesses to sell in the whole of Europe without having to declare its income in every single country, which would have been inefficient and prohibitive for most companies.

        What should have been done instead is that the income can be declared in a single country unless there is another company controlled by the same entity in the country where the income was realized.

        For Little Business Ltd., a company of five people in Ireland, it makes sense to let them declare in Ireland the few thousands £ they earn in UK; they could not otherwise afford to do business in the UK.

        For Google, Facebook et al., who own large sales teams based in the UK that are already declaring in the UK incomes of a few millions, there is little reason to let them declare in Ireland the income from what they sell in the UK.

        Of course, there are probably people, even UK politicians, who think that the current situation is working as intended, and that the goal is to force governments to compete on lower income taxes, leading to more business opportunities…

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This does need sorting out @TheWeddingPhotographer

      Who said the UN even had a CLUE? Every descriptive word ends in "less". Clueless, Toothless, Brainless, Feckless. Besides, the U.N. don't even apply here.

      Coprorations and their subsidiaries will ALWAYS pick and choose where they want to be based on the least amount of taxes and other BS they want to suffer. THIS is the way the world works.

      Too much tax and regulation is the problem, seconded by simpering EU dimwits that want to penalize American Corporations for merely existing.

      1. boatsman

        nothing to do with the UN. or the EU.

        or the USA.

        companies, and american companies are no exception, will do whatever they can get away with.

        monsanto is a nice example: now trying to poison us all with round-up,

        before that with agent orage (ask vietnam vets what that does) and before that with DDT.

        so it needs regulating, if we do not want to die collectively.

        same goes for zuck's little business, or google's or huawei's or <fill in your favourite>

        1. MAH

          Re: nothing to do with the UN. or the EU.

          What I don't understand is, if a company like facebook (or my company for that matter) meets all the legal requirements of where the company originates, then I don't agree any other country can do anything about it except block their site in that country. Obviously if I want to do business in that country I will try and comply, but really, do you think a company like facebook gives a crap if no one from netherlands can see facebook. The people themselves will find a way if they want it.

          For example, If I sold fireworks from Canada and the US determined they were illegal then its not my problem to restrict who can view my webpage...obviously I can't ship to that country, but don't come in my back yard and tell me how to run my business that is fully legal. If someone from the states orders with canadian credit card, and ships to cdn address, i could give flying frig if they then ship it to the states.

          1. Sirius

            Re: nothing to do with the UN. or the EU.

            Could you? Or do you actually mean you *couldn't* give a frig?

      2. Bob Dole (tm)

        Re: This does need sorting out @TheWeddingPhotographer

        >>THIS is the way the world works.

        Not only is it how the world works, but it's completely intentional. Countries will always enact certain laws in order to attract the businesses they deem are desirable. Even certain communities within a country will have better, or worse, tax situations depending on what they are trying to achieve.

        Point is: this is never going to change.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: This does need sorting out @TheWeddingPhotographer

        This might be behind the push to mine and inhabit astroids. Put your company headquarters on one and laugh off at all the countries who want to tax and regulate you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This does need sorting out @TheWeddingPhotographer

          Put your company headquarters on one and laugh off at all the countries who want to tax and regulate you.

          Which works right up to the point where the US places an embargo on you, patrolled by their ships and any cooperating nations, so your logistics goes to crap. [You can't breathe or eat crap. So sorry.] And jams your communications just for shits and giggles. Unless (!!) you have bought and paid enough politicians, or the President who commands that space navy, first. Now that's how you do business!

          [Sad, ain't it.]

      4. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: This does need sorting out @TheWeddingPhotographer

        @Ranty anti-UN commentard: Faux news dot com is that way >>>>>

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This does need sorting out

      I don't think this is something for the UN. I have a simpler solution: a company has to comply with the laws where it declares to be located for tax purposes. This means that FB can either comply with EU Data Directives, or f*ck off to the US where it can then pay taxes. Ditto for Google.

      It cannot be right that a company can declare itself US based for legal compliance, but as soon as it's about paying tax different rules and locations apply. F*ck that.

  5. W. Anderson

    US Companies privac and security antics

    It would be prudent for Facebook to have the Irish PDA verify that it's new privacy policies do comply with that country's regulations, otherwise most astute world citizens could very well conclude that Facebook, and Google with their smoke 'n Mirrors tactics are attemptin to delude the EU citizens and authorities, much like they have done in USA for many years.

    Unfortunately for these corporations, most other countries' citizens are not as gullible and naive as populace here in USA.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US Companies privac and security antics

      It would be prudent for Facebook to have the Irish PDA verify that it's new privacy policies do comply with that country's regulations, otherwise most astute world citizens could very well conclude that Facebook, and Google with their smoke 'n Mirrors tactics are attemptin to delude the EU citizens and authorities, much like they have done in USA for many years.

      My dear boy, do you really think that the likes of FB and Google don't know they're breaking the law? A sort of "oops, we did it again"? Honestly? They know damn well that they are on the wrong side of the law, but as long as the fines are but a percentage of the profit they make with this they will keep going - that's US business for you. Especially Google seems to be following the Microsoft book to doing business abroad to the letter.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evil, evil man.

    That's what Herr Zuckerberg is--at the jump.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By all means...

    ...run your new policies past the Irish DPA. That's great for the users domiciled in Eire.

    For Dutch users you'd best check with the Dutch DPA.

    For UK users...and so on.

    The law of the law where the page is viewed applies, not the law where the company is registered.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: By all means...

      "The law of the law where the page is viewed applies, not the law where the company is registered."

      That, if true is completely bonkers.

      That would suggest that if I put up a website, hosted on my own server in Dublin, and someone views it from North Korea, then Kim Jong Un could claim jurisdiction.

      I know the law's an ass, but it can't be that much of an ass.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: By all means...

        I know the law's an ass, but it can't be that much of an ass.

        It depends.. Kim Jong Un would just declare your page an act of war. The Saudis and certain others would deem you an infidel and issue a fatwah for your death. The 5-eyes might start jockeying for position on your extradition. I'm not sure what Putin would do.... put his shirt on maybe?

        Seriously... many countries are expecting a website not in their country to follow their laws. Look at what they want to do for taxing purposes.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: By all means...

      No, the law should be where you do business. If FB is selling adverts to Dutch companies, even indirectly, then it should be forced to comply with Dutch laws.

      Don't want to follow Saudi, NK, etc, laws? Then don't do business in those countries.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: By all means...

        Bollocks. If I set up shop in Dublin it should clearly be governed by Irish law. Why should I be exposed to Dutch law just because a Dutch person comes and buys something from me?

        You make even less sense for indirect business. If I decide that I'm going to do as you say, and demand proven Irish Citizenship prior to sale, to sell only to Irish people, and you decide to buy it from me in Dublin, and resell it on to Holland; why should I be subject to Dutch law?

        Maybe Facebook do have a Dutch presence, but that does not mitigate the ridiculousness of suggesting that customers local law should invariably apply.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: By all means...

          It's doing business in the EU. Which means it has to comply with laws throughout the EU. This is ridiculous, unfair, and stupid, and a fact. And all of that is perfectly normal for laws.

  8. Fluffy Bunny
    Paris Hilton

    Delusional

    I think the Dutch authorities have delusions of relevance.

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