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EU Gears Up to Clampdown Facebook Targeted Advertising Practices

The European Commission has accused Facebook of harvesting its users' personal information and selling it to advertisers.

According to The Telegraph (opens in new tab), Facebook uses sophisticated software to gather and harvest personal information of users and uses it to display advertisements on their profiles.

The data collected and sold by Facebook to advertisers is not limited to users' personal information, likes, dislikes and wall posts. The company uses special software to keep a track of the user profile and flag changes as they occur. Facebook also tracks information about users' friends and families.

The social networking giant also keeps a track of the content shared by users with their friends and also stores messages sent via chat or messages on the platform, and use it for commercial purposes.

The European Commission plans to pass a new cyber privacy law in January, which would prevent websites like Facebook to track users and display targeted advertisement without their permission.

Under the new law, users will also have greater control over the information and data they share online.

"Facebook should ensure that any data it collects should be used in the manner that its users expect," said UK's ICO, which is involved in the framing of the EC privacy laws.

"If personal data is being passed on to a third party or used for targeted advertising then this should be made clear to the user when they sign up to the site and reinforced when users are invited to use an application." it added.

Ravi Mandalia
Ravi Mandalia

Ravi Mandalla was ITProPortal's Sub Editor (and a contributing writer) for two years from 2011. Based in Ahmedabad, India, Ravi is now the owner and founder of Parity Media Pvt. Ltd., a news and media company, which specializes in online publishing, technology news and analysis, reviews, web site traffic growth, web site UI. Ravi lists his specialist subjects as: Enterprise, IT, Technology, Gadgets, Business, High Net Worth Individuals, Online Publishing, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, News, Reviews, Audio, Video, and Multi-Media. He has also previously worked as Dy. Manager - IT Security at (n)Code Solutions.