Facebook has come under scrutiny quite often lately, especially on issues to do with privacy. The social media giant has been a party to several disputes involving a breach of privacy for online data which it collects from users. The company, on the other hand, is relentlessly pushing against such forces whose aim, seemingly, is to curtail a crucial revenue stream.
Brush with regulators
Facebook’s business model is unique. The social media platform enables people from anywhere across the world to interact without having to meet in person. While the resulting convenience is free, you are the product which Facebook uses to earn revenue. Essentially, Facebook uses the data which you share to customize ads and to increase chances of advertisers to increase their reach.
However, the company brushed with regulators in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica fallout. During the 2016 US Presidential campaigns, it emerged that Facebook exposed data of over 87 million accounts to Cambridge Analytica. Interestingly, the company was working for the Trump campaign. Here, a connection was made where the manipulation of the data helped to push Trump’s agenda, which helped him win the presidency.
To avoid such cases in its jurisdiction, the European lawmakers passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is comprehensive legislation which limits the ability of technology companies to mine and monetize user data. Also, the laws obligate the tech companies to put in place appropriate measures to prevent third parties from doing the same.
Facebook is pushing against the legislation because it curtails a primary source of income. In 2016, even before GDPR became law, Facebook told the EU that the industry does not need a push from regulators to improve. In particular, the company argued that the regulation of the industry would curtail innovation.
On its part, Facebook said that the GDPR places too much liability its business and that might hamper its business model from being viable. However, the GDPR is in place, and Facebook is already under fire for the actions of its users. In the most recent development, lawmakers want the company to expunge defamatory comments from its platform.
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