Headline June 08, 2015/ ''' FACEBOOK SWEEPS [RIGHT] ACROSS '''



FACEBOOK'S CORE BUSINESS, its social networking service, is especially popular in Europe.

The company has almost doubled its number of European users to the service, to around  260 million,   since 2010.

Facebook also has more users in Europe than in the United States, according to eMarketer, a research company.

Regulators in Europe, however, are especially focused on how the company collects and handles those users' data. The region has some of the world's toughest data protection rules, and-

Policy makers from France, Germany and Belgium are investigating whether the social network broke European laws after the company announced a new privacy policy this year.

One arm of the European union is looking into whether Facebook and other technology companies unfairly favour  their own services over those of rivals. 

At least five data protection watchdogs across the region are questioning Facebook's privacy settings.

And in a case that could have broad implications for many technology companies, the region's top court will issue a preliminary decision next month on whether Facebook can continue transferring user data between Europe and the United States.

Move over, Google. Facebook is the latest American technology giant that Europeans love to hate.

For decades, European policy makers have taken aim at America's giant technology businesses, trying to force them to play by European rules. 

In the past, Microsoft and Intel were found guilty of abusing their dominant positions to shut out rivals.

Google has most recently been under the microscope, and it now faces accusations that it unfairly promoted some of its search products over those of competitors.

In recent months, though, regulator gazes have turned to Facebook, raising questions about whether the social network has learned from the past mistakes of companies like Intel,  Microsoft and Google when dealing with Europe's policy makers and the legal system.

And as Facebook runs into increasing number of regulatory hurdles here, the scrutiny could potentially distract the company from its ambitions of becoming a one stop shop for:

 Internet messaging, online publishing and digital advertising.

''Platforms like Facebook have grown quickly to become global forces,'' said Serafino Abate, a director at the Center on Regulation in Europe, a research organization in Brussels. ''But with that size comes responsibility.''

The scrutiny is mounting as the company's messaging and digital advertising services continue to spread globally.

More than  1.4 billion  people now use the social network, and hundreds of millions of people also rely on the company's mobile messaging services, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and its photo sharing service, Instagram.

Facebook increased spending on lobbying 25 percent, to roughly  $570,000 in 2013 from the previous year, according to the latest figures from the European Union's voluntary database of lobbying interests, which may not include all of Facebook's activities in the region.

''We expect scrutiny. We're not afraid of it,'' said |Richard Allan, a former member of Parliament in Britain who has run Facebook's policy team in Europe for the last six years.

To get a sense of the European backlash against Facebook, you do not have to look much further than the experience of Max Schrems, an Austrian law Student who has led a vocal opposition to the company's collection and use of data from around the world.

The Honour and Serving of the  ''social networks operational research''  continues. Thank you for reading and maybe, learning something.

With respectful dedication to the users of Facebook, wherever. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Girding '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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