Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Facebook: EU probe invades privacy



Facebook: EU probe invades privacy

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Facebook maintained that it has been cooperating with the European Commission antitrust investigation and will continue to do so. AFP

Facebook: EU probe invades privacy

Social-networking site Facebook Inc on Monday said it is asking EU courts to review “exceptionally broad” requests by antitrust regulators there that would scoop up employees’ personal information.

The US-based internet colossus maintained it has been cooperating with a European Commission antitrust investigation and will continue to do so, but that the wording of commission requests casts a net so wide it will haul in Facebook employees’ private messages and more.

The leading social network expects to give the commission hundreds of thousands of documents, Facebook associate general counsel for competition Tim Lamb said.

“The exceptionally broad nature of the commission’s requests means we would be required to turn over predominantly irrelevant documents that have nothing to do with the commission’s investigations,” he said.

Those documents include “highly sensitive personal information such as employees’ medical information, personal financial documents and private information about family members of employees”, he added.

Facebook thinks such requests should be reviewed by EU courts, Lamb said, and is asking the court to weigh in on broad search terms such as “applause” or “for free” that could easily be found in personal email messages or other exchanges way beyond the scope of antitrust matters.

Regulatory probes can involve requests for messages or documents bearing certain words or phrases, with those seeking information inclined to craft wide nets and those being queried wanting them narrowly targeted.

A highly anticipated US antitrust hearing, including top executives of four Big Tech firms, was originally set for Monday but has been postponed.

A notice filed by the House Judiciary Committee set no new date for the hearing titled Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

The hearing would have conflicted with the memorial service for the late representative and civil rights leader John Lewis, who will lie in state in the US Capitol until Tuesday.

The antitrust hearing was called amid rising concerns over Big Tech dominance, which has become even more pronounced during the coronavirus pandemic and coincides with investigations at the federal and state levels into the online giants.

CEOs Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google and its parent firm Alphabet had agreed to participate in the session.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration

  • Howard Johnson opens in Sihanoukville

    New York Stock Exchange- (NYSE) listed hotel franchiser Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc (WH) has opened its first hotel in the Kingdom – the Howard Johnson Plaza by Wyndham Blue Bay Sihanoukville, WH said in a February 18 press release. WH said the new 36-storey property in Sihanoukville’

  • Cambodia’s new draft law on investment and its effects

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) has completed the drafting of the long-awaited new Law on Investment. The draft will be later tabled at the Economic and Financial Policy Committee before being submitted to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly for