Facebook takes out ads to tout new EU data protection law

Facebook admitted earlier this month that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign. (AFP)
Updated 16 April 2018

Facebook takes out ads to tout new EU data protection law

BERLIN: Facebook took out full-page ads in European newspapers Monday to trumpet tough new EU legislation that promises “more data protection for you,” as the company seeks to win back trust following a damaging privacy scandal.
The new law, set to come into effect on May 25, aims to give users more control over how their personal information is stored and used online, with big fines for firms that break the rules.
“New EU legislation means more data protection for you,” the Silicon Valley giant said in the blue-and-white ad, which appeared in German dailies including Handelsblatt, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the best-selling Bild.
It also appeared in Belgian newspapers, as well as in France’s Journal du dimanche (JDD) newspaper on Sunday.
Ahead of the introduction of the European Union’s so-called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Facebook said it would be asking users to check their privacy settings and tell the firm how “we may use your data.”
“You will also have the opportunity to access your data at any time, download it or delete it,” the ad went on.
Facebook admitted earlier this month that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has repeatedly apologized for the massive data breach, last week told the US Congress that the more stringent EU rules could serve as a rough model globally.
Brussels has welcomed the unexpected spotlight on its upcoming legislation.
“I was really desperate about thinking how to make the best possible campaign for GDPR so now this is well done, so thank you Mr. Zuckerberg,” the EU’s justice and consumer affairs commissioner Vera Jourova said last Wednesday.
Under the new rules, companies will need explicit consent from users to share their data with third parties and people will have the right to know what information is stored about them and to ask for it to be deleted.
Breaches can lead to fines of up to four percent of a company’s global turnover.


Facebook donates $2.1 million to support Lebanon

Updated 12 August 2020

Facebook donates $2.1 million to support Lebanon

  • Managing Director Facebook MENA Ramez Shehadi: We are donating more than $2.1 million to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs
  • Ramez Shehadi: We’re working with hospitals and local partners to launch local access to our blood donation tool — allowing donors to find nearby blood donation centers in need of support

DUBAI: Facebook is giving millions to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs in Lebanon to support relief and recovery efforts in Beirut following the devastating blast there.

“In support of the vital work that organizations and individuals are doing on the ground in Beirut, we are donating more than $2.1 million to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs to support relief and recovery efforts, $1 million of which has been matched by our community as part of a Facebook fundraiser,” said Ramez Shehadi, managing director, Facebook Middle East and North Africa.

“Moreover, we’re working with hospitals and local partners to launch local access to our blood donation tool — which allows blood donors to find nearby blood donation centers in need of support — and supporting local newsrooms impacted. We will continue to work with different organizations that are making a real difference at this critical time,” Shehadi said.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in a post: “Facebook is doing what we can to help those struggling in the aftermath. Our safety check tool was activated soon after the explosion, with tens of thousands of people using it to let their friends and loved ones know they were OK. Hundreds of thousands of people visited our crisis page to get accurate information and request help, and we have seen our community come together to search for the missing and offer places to sleep to those who have lost homes. And we are launching our blood donation tool in Lebanon in partnership with local hospitals and others to point local blood donors to nearby blood donation centers.”

Additionally, the Facebook Community activated the safety check feature; and the crisis page is a resource for all those looking for help and support, from searching for missing loves ones to providing services such as blood donations.