We reported last week that the EU was looking into Google’s data collection practices, and it seems that Facebook is getting in on the action.
According to Reuters, the European Commission is also starting a sister investigation into Facebook, revolving around the firm’s acquisition and monetisation of data. As you know, Facebook’s entire business is built on selling access to advertisers based on the data it collects from its users. Sometimes, the firm can also act as an unwitting conduit for user data to flow ito third party databases. This is probably what the European Commission is concerned about.
As per Reuters, the body wanted to know just exactly what terms governed the access of companies to Facebook’s APIs for both its main service and satellite apps like Instagram. In other words, what does Facebook require of a company before it hands them access to data? What would make Facebook refuse access — if anything? What user protections are there? Can Facebook effectively manage and enforce these terms and protections, whatever they might be? We’d imagine the Commission is investigating to answer questions that fall in that general ballpark.
“These investigations concern the way data is gathered, processed, used and monetized including for advertising purposes,” the EU told Reuters on Monday.