Europe-v-Facebook, the privacy campaign group, has announced that it plans to take legal action against Facebook in Ireland and has criticised the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) for what it claims is the ODPC’s failure to regulate Facebook’s privacy issues.
Europe-v-Facebook has been campaigning against the social media website for better data protection regulation for over a year and has filed 22 complaints with the ODPC. A recent achievement claimed by the group was the deactivation of Facebook’s facial recognition feature in Europe.
The ODPC published an initial audit of Facebook in December 2011 followed by a review of Facebook’s implementation of its “best practice” recommendations in September 2012. The privacy campaign group has criticised the ODPC’s audit, claiming it did not delve deep enough into a number of issues and it accused the ODPC of departing from EU law in its interpretation of the data protection rules.
Europe-v-Facebook has conceded that the ODPC had taken some important steps regarding privacy concerns however claims that the ODPC ‘‘had not always delivered accurate and correct results’’. Europe-v-Facebook believes that further regulation is required in relation to the ability of Facebook users to access their data and has called for the complete deactivation of the facial recognition feature.
The ODPC responded by noting that Facebook has been broadly compliant in implementing suggestions presented by it during the audit and that the ODPC continues to liaise with Facebook on new developments. The Irish authority outlined that if Europe-v-Facebook does request formal responses to its complaints then it will have a right to appeal if unhappy. The ODPC also revealed that it has yet to receive any direct contact from Europe-v-Facebook.