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Facebook is the privacy villain of the year

06 October 2016
by EDRi -- last modified 06 October 2016

On 6 October, the Belgian Big Brother Awards took place in Brussels. The negative prize for the worst privacy abuser was unanimously granted to Facebook by the professional jury. The public confirmed Facebook's title as the ultimate privacy villain of the year - a big majority of the votes went to the social network that is successfully harvesting and generating personal data from people all around the world.


"Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company that has one commodity - you!", said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights.

Facebook has access to a wide range of personal data, and it tracks your movements across the web, whether you are logged in or not. And the devil is in the default: To opt out, you are expected to navigate Facebook's complex web of settings.

"We nominated Facebook for the award because their default settings are noxious for privacy", said McNamee. "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."

The Big Brother Awards are based on a concept created by EDRi member Privacy International. The goal is to draw attention to violations of privacy.

European Digital Rights (EDRi) is a not-for-profit association of digital civil rights organisations. Our objectives are to promote, protect and uphold civil rights in the field of information and communication technology.

European Digital Rights (EDRi)
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