UofO Law Students File Against Facebook

We’ve talked about how litigious law students can be, but these four Canadians from the University of Ottawa recently filed a complaint against Facebook to the Federal Privacy Commissioner.

One of the students, Harley Finkelstein, is quoted as saying,

There’s definitely some significant shortcomings with Facebook’s privacy settings and with their ability to protect users.

What’s interesting is how the complaint was raised.

According to Philippa Lawson, Director of Canada’s only technology law clinic, the students were reviewing Facebook as part of their winter term when they identified 22 potential violations of Canadian law.

The complaint was filed on behalf of the Canadian Interest and Public Policy Clinic (CIPPC), and can be viewed online.

The points of interest include failures to:

  1. Identify all the purposes for which it collects Users’ personal information
  2. Obtain informed consent from Users and non-Users to all uses and disclosures of their
    personal information
  3. Allow Users to use its service without consenting to supply unnecessary personal
  4. Obtain express consent to share Users’ sensitive information
  5. Allow Users who have deactivated their accounts to easily withdraw consent to share
  6. Limit the collection of personal information to that which is necessary for its stated
  7. Be upfront about its advertisers’ use of personal information and the level of Users’
    control over their privacy settings
  8. Destroy personal information of Users who terminate their use of Facebook services
  9. Safeguard Users’ personal information from unauthorized access
  10. Explain policies and procedures on the range of personal information that is disclosed to
    third party advertisers and application developers


Harley Finkelstein writes in to Law is Cool, and shares this news release.

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