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South Korea says Facebook not complying with data privacy laws

A South Korean regulator said Wednesday that Facebook [website; JURIST news archive] is not in compliance with the nation's data privacy laws and must more earnestly seek consent from users before accessing their personal information. The Korean Communications Commission [official website] generally criticised [ITProPortal report] Facebook's privacy policy, handling of personal information and the use of personal data of third parties. In particular, Facebook is said to be in breach of Article 22 [text, PDF] of the South Korean Act on Promotion of Information and Communication Network Utilization and Information Protection, which states "If an information and communications service provider intends to gather user personal information, they shall obtain user consent."

In July, The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information [official website, in German] announced that he initiated legal proceedings [JURIST report] against Facebook for accessing and saving non-users' personal information. Dr. Johannes Caspar [official profile, in German] stated the social networking site could be fined tens of thousands of euros for violating Germany's strict privacy laws [materials, PDF; in German]. In January, the Canadian Office of the Privacy Commissioner [official website] announced that it would launch a new probe [JURIST report] of Facebook to investigate privacy issues in response to complaints. Last year, five Facebook users sued the company in a California court alleging the site violated their privacy [JURIST report].

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