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EC Justice Commissioner Goes After Facebook

Facebook has been thrashed by Viviane Reding, the acting justice and rights commissioner of the European Commission, for its unimpressive record of protecting user privacy.

Reding expressed her dissatisfaction with the existing European data protection laws, which were written in 1995, more than a decade ago when the online landscape was radically different. According to her, these laws are no longer capable of fully addressing the growing privacy and security concerns in today’s digital world.

She emphasized her point by saying that there had been no Facebook when these laws were written.

In the last few weeks, Facebook has come under severe criticism for introducing facial recognition technology which recommends pictures of a user's friends to be tagged. Most users were added to the facial recognition programme without their consent or knowledge.

"People ask: 'What are they doing with my data? What is this thing with photographs? It might be very interesting if I decide that I want this, but it cannot be imposed on me.' There are lots of questions about where we are going in this society," Reding said, The Register (opens in new tab) reports.

"You cannot hide anymore by saying 'my server is in Honolulu and my other server is in Kiev and...' I don't care," the commissioner added.