A new report has suggested that Facbeook has run afoul of a number of European laws to do with the amount of control that users have over their own data.
The report was funded by the Belgian Privacy Commission, and undertaken by the ICRI/CIR at the University of Leuven in conjunction with iMinds-SMIT of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels to investigate whether or not Facebook were in violation of European laws when it comes to how they treat users and their data.
The main problem, according to the study, was that Facebook "updated" its terms and condition in January 2015, but identified a number of problems. Many of them focused around the fact that users were not aware their image could be used in promotional content, and that in order to opt out of such settings, they would have to navigate through "Facebook’s complex web of settings".
The conclusion the report came to was that it was asking users to either accept the terms given, or leave Facebook entirely. In a release accompanying the report, they summed up their belief that "the changes introduced in 2015 weren't all that drastic. Most of Facebook’s 'new' policies and terms are simply old practices made more explicit. Our analysis indicates, however, that Facebook is acting in violation of European law".
In order to avoid any further commotion and (another) European privacy investigation, Facebook representatives are due to meet with Belgian privacy minister, Bart Tommelein, on Wednesday to try and convince him that there just seems to have been some form of misunderstanding.