Facebook flouts privacy: No one Cares?

Remember all those fake Facebook privacy notices? Be sure to post this or everyone will have access to all your private content! While those allegations were entirely erroneous, now Facebook has been accused of some actual, substantial privacy violations … and the world seems to have responded with a collective shrug.

According to a report filed by Belgium’s privacy regulator, Facebook is riding roughshod over European data-protection laws. The report categorized the violations as “staggering.”

The statements, credited to Willem Debeuckelaere, president of the Belgian Commission, were made in an email report subsequent to an investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices.

This is not the first time Facebook has dealt with accusations of privacy violations in Europe. Recently, Dutch regulators threatened daily fines over Facebook’s recently revamped privacy policies. So far, no fines have been levied, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be.

Meanwhile, the Belgian report accused Facebook of “scoffing at” privacy rules “at several levels” and threatened an in-depth analysis of Facebook’s privacy rules.

Facebook, of course, claims innocence. In an emailed response, Facebook told Belgium that “nothing is more important to us than the privacy of our users.” The response went on to detail several ways in which Facebook says it works hard to protect the privacy of its users. The primary privacy resource is, of course, the user. According to Facebook, users can determine the levels of control they have over their content and who sees it.

While this response fails to fully address the Belgian report’s allegations, it does paint in stark contrast the social network’s stance on internet privacy. Buyer beware.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of New York based 5W PR and the founder of the Ronn Torossian Foundation.