Facebook Opposes European Proposal Over ‘Free Speech Issues’


Facebook Opposes European Proposal Over 'Free Speech Issues'

In response to a European online privacy legislation proposition, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been reportedly discouraging the new legislation for it seems to be a major violation of user’s freedom of speech.

Earlier this year, European commision outlined its all new plan for user’s online data protection that lays down a directive approach for the removal of  some useless/unwanted data from a users profile. Introducing a ‘right to be forgotten’ to users, EU’s proposal aims to enable an online user to delete what they’ve posted on any online social network at any time they want.

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The social network giant is specifically concerned about a user’s ‘freedom of speech’ that, according to Simon Milner, director of Public Policy for Facebook in Europe, the provision of the ‘right to be forgotten’ would allow them to infringe people’s right to enjoy their freedom of expression.

Milner explains that, ““It is important this can be implemented in practice, but as drafted, the current proposal risks introducing measures which are both unreasonable and unrealistic”

Here it is important to understand that the current default settings of the Internet are designed in a way that once some information has made an online existence, it stays there forever and can easily be accessed by anyone in power, whenever and how so ever they want.

European law, with a clear view of authorizing an online user to wipe their digital footstep,   attempted to restore some balance in favor of users by enabling them to control their own data.

In support of their own claims, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) issued an 11-page document that reveals the true story behind Facebook’s objection.

According to this document, the proposed ‘right to be forgotten’ requires careful consideration, as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) says, “As drafted, it raises major concerns with regard to the right of others to remember and of freedom of expression on the Internet. There is also a risk that it could result in measures which are technically impossible to apply in practice and therefore make for bad law.”

The document also reveals that the social networking giant has an objection that the new principle of ‘privacy by default’ changes the meaning of true social networking and takes away the reason for which people join social networks, that is, to share and connect with others.

While Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) continues to object the proposed legislation, the EU online security agency, ENISA, released a report today revealing the technical considerations for the successful implementation of the proposed ‘right to be forgotten’

We would like to highlight that this law, like any other law, aims to protect individual rights and purports to help users gain some control over their online existence.

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