Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of cross-platform mobile messaging company WhatsApp, announced last month, became the target of privacy groups, as the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that the privacy of current WhatsApp users will be affected by Facebook’s use of their information.
Facebook is caught in the middle of conflicting rulings by courts in Germany, as a decision by the Higher Court of Berlin that the social network’s friend finder violates the country’s law clashes with an April 2013 ruling by the Administrative Court of Appeals of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, which stated that Germany’s data-protection laws should not apply to Facebook, as its European headquarters are in Ireland.
The inevitable has drawn closer: Facebook-owned photo-sharing network Instagram confirmed that it will begin introducing advertising into its feed “in the next couple of months.”
Facebook may have 1.06 billion monthly active users, but 61 percent of them have taken time off from the social network in the form of breaks that lasted several weeks, according to the latest study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
When Facebook told users it was planning to approve changes to its data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities without putting them to a vote, users and privacy advocates were up in arms. Luckily, commenters have taken matters into their own hands, posting enough comments on the note announcing the changes to force Facebook to put them to a vote.
Facebook is seeking the dismissal of a $15 billion lawsuit that accuses it of secretly tracking its users’ Internet activity after they leave the social network’s platform, saying that the plaintiffs failed to offer specific examples of how they were harmed by its alleged actions.