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.


Palestinian journalists protest wounding of colleague

Updated 17 November 2019

Palestinian journalists protest wounding of colleague

  • Muath Amarneh has been in an Israeli hospital since he was hit in the eye Friday during clashes
  • Dozens of Palestinian journalists rallied Sunday with one eye covered in solidarity

JERUSALEM: “The eyes of truth will never be blinded,” protesters’ placards read, as Palestinian journalists wore eye patches Sunday to decry the wounding of a colleague in the occupied West Bank.
Muath Amarneh has been in an Israeli hospital since he was hit in the eye Friday during clashes between Israeli border police and Palestinian demonstrators in the village of Surif, close to Hebron in the southern West Bank.
Dozens of Palestinian journalists rallied Sunday — protesting with one eye covered in solidarity.
Amarneh, who is being treated in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, said he was some way from the protesters when he was hit by what he believes was Israeli fire.
“After the clashes started, I was standing to the side wearing a flak jacket with press markings and a helmet,” the freelance cameraman told AFP on Sunday.
“Suddenly I felt something hit my eye, I thought it was a rubber bullet or a stone. I put my hand to my eye and found nothing.”
“I couldn’t see and my eye was completely gone.”
He said doctors at the hospital told him a fragment of metal, about 2 centimeters long, pierced the eye and settled behind it near the brain.
Amarneh’s cousin Tareq, accompanying him in hospital, said doctors planned to extract the metal but changed their minds after discovering they could also damage the right eye or even trigger bleeding in the brain.
A spokesman for the Israeli police denied that the photographer was targeted, saying fire was “not directed at all” toward him.
“The security forces operated in the area in front of dozens of rioters, some of them masked, who threw stones at officers and burned tires,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“The response by the forces was using non-lethal means in order to disperse the rioters.”
Amarneh, who comes from the Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, claimed he was targeted as a journalist.
“There is an unnatural and ugly targeting of journalists,” the father-of-two said.
Since the incident Palestinian journalists have launched a campaign, with protests in several cities in the West Bank.
In Bethlehem Sunday, border police dispersed a sit-in by journalists at the checkpoint north of the city, an AFP journalist said.
Demonstrators wore eye patches and held signs aloft.
Tear gas cannisters were fired by the border police, the journalist said.
Seven people were lightly wounded, according to Palestinian health officials.
In the city of Tulkarem, about 250 journalists took part in a sit-in to show solidarity, according to journalists present.
A video and photos of Amarneh spread immediately after his injury, with journalists trying to carry him with blood flowing from his left eye.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate says 60 journalists have been hit by live ammunition this year, the majority in Gaza — an enclave where violent weekly protests along the border often lead to dozens of demonstrators being wounded.