Category Archive: Social networking

A Facebook user reveals what people really want from the site – and it’s a scary prospect.

By a Facebook user (as revealed to Simon Davies)   Facebook is living out some weird fantasy that it knows what people want. No it doesn’t. It’s clunky and full of useless bits that mess with your head and waste your energy. It’s time Facebook learned the truth about what we REALLY want out of …

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If you figure that privacy advocates are irrelevant, here’s why you should think again

By Simon Davies (This article appeared originally on the website of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) in August 2016. In recent months, a small but tenacious army of privacy and consumer rights activists has been quietly ramping up for an assault on poor privacy and data protection practices by companies and governments. These …

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The Belgian decision about Facebook cookies has huge data protection and press freedom implications

By Simon Davies Like many other people, I’ve been grappling with the intricacies of the recent Belgian court decision about Facebook’s use of cookies (the English text of which is, at last, here.) I’m coming around to the view that the implications are far broader than we might imagine and it’s a little bewildering that there …

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It’s official. Terrorism tweets are now the lèse majesté of the West

By Simon Davies A 14 year-old Netherlands girl was arrested yesterday for posting a Tweet that was claimed to be a terrorist threat against American Airlines. “Hello, my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan”, the Tweet began, in classic Bin Laden style, concluding with: “I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m going …

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UK police action over “liking” a Facebook post could signal a dangerous prosecution trend

By Simon Davies Police in the southern England borough of Kent are considering whether to lay criminal charges against a local councillor for “liking” the Facebook post of a colleague. The move signals a bizarre twist in British policing from extending criminal evidence from content to context. This has the potential to create a serious …

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We ignore Pakistan’s struggle for freedom at our own peril

By Simon Davies The global outpouring of public support over the Turkish government’s latest incursion on freedom of expression has been breathtaking. International media have extensively covered the issue, providing fuel for citizen-led initiatives to oppose or circumvent the Twitter ban. This support, however, throws into sharp relief the dearth of activity around ongoing censorship …

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Telegram becomes the New Cool of messaging as millions of users abandon WhatsApp over privacy concerns

 By Simon Davies In one of the most persuasive displays ever of the market power of consumer privacy, Facebook’s recent $19BN acquisition of the popular messaging app WhatsApp appears to have been given the thumbs-down by millions of users. While it may be too early to produce a conclusive analysis, there are solid indications that …

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Nearly one in three social networking sites make it onerous or impossible to delete accounts

By Simon Davies Social networking sites with a combined membership of hundreds of millions of users are refusing to allow members to delete their profile data, in violation of the privacy laws of dozens of countries. Concerns about this denial of user rights was first raised by Privacy International (PI) in 2006 when the organisation …

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Facebook trashes its “principles” as it blocks human rights pages in Pakistan

By Simon Davies Facebook has again been accused of unlawful collusion with the Pakistan government after the publication today of a list of url’s that have been blocked by the company – including an influential page dedicated to human rights and political discourse. A partial list of blocked pages is published below. While some of …

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Pakistan government admits secret “censorship arrangement” with Facebook

By Simon Davies A senior Pakistan government official has told the High Court of Lahore that Facebook has entered into a covert working relationship with national authorities to censor online content. The admission was made earlier this month during a hearing of public interest claims brought by Bytes for All Pakistan (B4A) against the government’s …

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