Facebook faces data protection deadline
Facebook has been given four weeks to fully comply with recommendations from data protection watchdogs, but a report today said it had demonstrated a 'clear commitment' to doing so.
The company could face fines of up to €100,000 if it fails to meet the deadline.
A review of Facebook Ireland’s implementation of recommendations made following an audit of the social networking site last December found a “great majority” had already been brought in, with the remainder to be implemented within four weeks.
The review, which was carried out by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Dublin, said the US-based site now provided better transparency to users in how data was handled, had increased the control users have over settings on the site, and had given users more control over the deletion of their personal data on the site.
Commissioner Billy Hawkes said he was “particularly encouraged” by the fact Facebook had exceeded initial recommendations on the facial recognition features, and had turned off the feature for EU users. It has also agreed to delete any templates of EU users relating this tag feature by October 15th.
“By doing so it is sending a clear signal of its wish to demonstrate its commitment to best practice in data protection compliance,” he said.
Ireland is the headquarters of Facebook’s non-US business, and the data regulator is responsible for ensuring the company complies with European and Irish data protection law.
Deputy commissioner Gary Davis, who led the review and the original audit, said there had been detailed engagement between Facebook Ireland and the regulator’s office.
“The discussions and negotiations that have taken place, while often robust on both sides, were at all times constructive with a collective goal of compliance with data protection requirements,” he said. “There were a number of items on which progress was not as fully forward as we had hoped and we have set a deadline of four weeks for these matters to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.”