By Kirsten Fiedler

On 6 October, the Belgian Big Brother Awards – a negative prize for the worst privacy abuser – will take place in Brussels. There are many other such award ceremonies around the globe, many of which are being organised by EDRi’s members. EDRi is proud to be one of the partners of the Belgian event, organised by its member Liga voor Mensenrechten.

We will be the organiser of a “Privacy Salon” – a panel discussion which will focus on online tracking activities and the upcoming reform of European privacy rules (ePrivacy Directive). You can register to attend the event by visiting this link.

The event will take place on:

When: 6 October.
Where: KVS , the Brussels City Theatre.

Doors open at 19:00, the program starts at 19:30.
The debate is scheduled from 19:45 until 21:00


Confirmed speakers:

Stephen Deadman (Facebook)
Matthias Matthiesen (IAB)
Brendan Van Alsenoy (Privacy Commission, DPA Belgium)
Estelle Massé (AccessNow)
Dr. Frederik Borgesius (University Amsterdam)
Moderator: Joe McNamee (EDRi)

Background on the nomination:

Facebook is engaging in the same type of mass surveillance that the US National Security Agency NSA is doing – its spying on people all around the world, just via different means. There are three main reasons for our nomination:

1. Facebook has access to a wide range of personal data; for example it accesses your phone number and gives out your name out to strangers.The social network started taking mobile numbers from other, less direct, sources (like WhatsApp) or from you phone to add them to profiles and use them as public identifiers for individuals.

2. Facebook tracks your movements across the web. It doesn’t matter if you are logged in or not. Every time you see a “like” button on a website, your internet browser is talking to Facebook. It tells the social network what pages you are visiting and what kind of browser you’re using in order to target advertising at you.

3. Last but not least, the devil is in the default: Facebook supposes you have nothing against your data being sold, and automatically opts you in. You are expected to navigate Facebook’s complex web of settings (which include “Privacy”, “Apps”, “Ads”, “Followers”, etc.) in search of possible opt-outs.

What can Facebook do with all this information?

Facebook has gained the power to control directly who you are, the social network can “engineer the public” without the users’ knowledge. For years, Facebook has been carrying out experiments, for example to influence the mood of its users, or to manipulate their voting behavior.

EDRi-gram_subscribe_banner

Twitter_tweet_and_follow_banner