German Regulators Just Outlawed Facebook's Whole Ad Business

Some good news to kick off the weekend with.


@aral Dear Aral, I am sorry, but it did not. To the contrary. It expressively stated that putting all the messenger in one "data bin" is fine as long as FB makes it transparent and designs a better consent process. Additionally, it circumvented all data protection authorities who are just now working on their - likely more effective - strict view on Facebooks terms itself (instead of just putting the responsibility on the consenting individual).

In the very least it'll be a signal that FB and the likes do have to follow some rules, it might make some news, raise some awareness, get some users to reconsider. This is not going to be the end of it, but it might help the cause. Baby steps.


Yes, I agree. It's definitely better than nothing. On the other hand: Making Facebook follow rules is worth nothing if those rules are merely a shade of "Ok, continue but make more transparent what you do". It's not the enforcement of rules we have to look at but also what rules are enforced and whether it actually changes the impact Facebook has on individuals.


@malteengeler @doenietzomoeilijk @aral
I'd say it comes down to how it's enforced. This could work similar to the warning labels on cigarettes. They don't get many people to quit smoking but they make it hard to start without considering the consequences, and there's much fewer teenagers smoking today than there used to (at least in Europe) ...

@Mr_Teatime @doenietzomoeilijk @aral

Sure, there is some benefit to push for more transparency. It is however in now way the ultimate goal of data protection but merely a step towards intervention on behalf of users.

@malteengeler @Mr_Teatime @aral Exactly what I said: baby steps. We have to start somewhere, and an outright ban would be 1. illegal 2. too much and 3. reason for a lot of folks to bemoan the evil government interference. Chipping away a bit at a time is the only way, even if it takes long.

@malteengeler @doenietzomoeilijk @aral
As several others remarked: Baby steps is the only way. Not only because you can't just outlaw a company but because while the world shouldn't be governed by corporate interests none of us here is always right, either.

...yeah, I wish they were bigger baby steps but this is the only way you can get/keep a reasonably large number of people on board.


And because its digital you can do something more with this label, like - on a click - show a summary of all the "tar" in it, i.e. an extraction from the privacy policy with list of data that is collected and another one with how its used, followed by full link to PP, and another one to a review site where you can read how good or bad they are.


@malteengeler @doenietzomoeilijk @aral

...which is going to be read by 3 people, one of them by accident. Most people are trained to blindly click whatever is the most colorful or the most likely to get past the introduction. I don't have any perfect solutions for this, and there should be a text, but that shouldn't be the only hurdle.
@Mr_Teatime @malteengeler @aral


Sure. Regarding colorful. If the advertiser doesn't check enough boxes on the tech-for-good checklist on the review site, or has many bad reviews, then the label turns more 'dangerous'.. bright red with a skull icon in it.

Something a marketeer would rather avoid, and pass the checklist along to their devs. Small steps, but steps anyway.

@Mr_Teatime @malteengeler @aral

We've slowly slid out of the original topic, but I'd very much welcome a course of enforcement which asserts that a "meaningful choice" in GPDR terms means that disagreeing must take the same amount of clicks as agreeing, and the buttons need to have equal size and visibility.

@humanetech @malteengeler @aral

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