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Facebook claims of whistleblowers are checked against UK law

by Lester Blair
Frances Haugen
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A data privacy watchdog wrote to Facebook to request full evidence. This is to verify that the company was in breach of UK law.

Elizabeth Denham (information commissioner) says that she would like to analyze the documents in a UK perspective, especially with regard to children.

Frances Haugen, a former employee of Facebook claimed that the company kept “behind bars” information about its data use.

But Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rejected her allegations.

He said, “Most people don’t recognize the fake picture of the company being painted.”

Ms Denham said that she is retiring next month.

  • Facebook harms children, claims ex-employee
  • UK Parliament Committee to Present Whistleblower
  • A Facebook whistleblower exposes identity

“Because that’s what I want do with the information, it is an analysis from the UK perspective – Are these harms applicable to the UK especially through the lense of children?

We have created a brand new code for children that outlines design considerations to help protect online kids.

“I will investigate these claims to determine if they are in contravention to UK law. If so, I’ll take legal action.”

According to the whistleblower, Facebook products can pose a danger to mental health of children and could spark divisions within society.

“Facebook is closed in design so it doesn’t have any real oversight,” Ms Haugen said to a US Senate panel. She used to be a member of the company’s algorithmic products.

Facebook can only know how your Facebook profile is personalized.

“Facebook is hidden behind walls which prevent regulators and researchers from fully understanding their true system dynamics.”

Ms Haugen will be giving evidence to UK Parliament’s Online Safety Bill Committee on 25 Oct.

Elizabeth Denham has done a lot to control big tech. She is concerned about the power imbalance between Silicon Valley and democracies – as well as her attempts to politicize the regulator she quits.

Over the last five years stories on the dangers posed by social media giants has followed a familiar and tiresome pattern.

First, scandal erupts. Next comes the cry for help: Somebody must take action! (See also Up With This, We Will Not Put!)

Reflecting headlines and noises on (ironically), social media, an assembly is called, where ambassadors from the tech titans are invited.

Finally… not much happens.

This is a pattern that has been repeated over and again.

These stories all have a common theme: societal harm is often caused by regulators. Ofcom, Advertising Standards Authority and Competition and Markets Authority are just a few of the many that adhere to their respective remits.

Elizabeth Denham is the Information Commissioner who will step down next month.

Find out more information from Amol Rajan.

Source: BBC.com

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