"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Privacy Law: European Commission Alleges Facebook Violation of EU Merger Guidelines in WhatsApp Acquisition: WhatsApp Data Collection by Facebook Not Legal in the EU: What about America and the FTC?

We posted our opinion already in August that the declared Facebook collection of WhatsApp data appeared to be illegal. See Facebook WhatsApp Privacy Invasion Promotes Anger and Likely Violates a 2012 Agreement with the FTC.

Already in September, Germany ordered Facebook to stop collecting WhatsApp user data as violating data protection laws. Facebook had to delete all WhatsApp data gathered by Facebook about German users up to that point.

In November 2016, Facebook had to stop collecting WhatsApp user data in Europe after pressure by governments.

Now, a December 20, 2016 press release from the European Commission of the European Union alleges that Facebook provided misleading information about its WhatsApp takeover.

As stated in that press release: "Facebook now has now until 31 January 2017 to respond to the Statement of Objections. If the Commission's preliminary concerns in this case were confirmed, the Commission could, impose a fine of up to 1% of Facebook's turnover (under Article 14(1) of the EU Merger Regulation)." [emphasis added] That's a lot of money, folks.

screenshot photograph clip by LawPundit

Meredith Ballard, Staff Writer at The Campbell Law Observer had a piece in October about WhatsApp’s legal challenges illustrate the stark difference in U.S. and EU internet privacy laws -- and we can second that ! -- where she wrote, inter alia:

"The legal disputes facing WhatsApp and Facebook arise at a time when privacy law in the United States is still developing.  Currently, the law in the European Union has a reputation for being more consumer-oriented, with greater monitoring and privacy protections for app users outside of the U.S. In the U.S., Internet companies, such as Facebook and Google, are overseen by the FTC."

The FTC has proven itself thus far to be a virtually do-nothing "paper tiger" in terms of enforcement. See Facebook’s Plan for WhatsApp to Get Close Look from FTC.

In our opinion, the clearly interlocking-endangered merger of Facebook and WhatsApp should never have been permitted because it was destined to lead to these kinds of nefarious privacy abuses.


Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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