It appears as though internet giants like Facebook and Google may be forced in future to ask permission to use personal data.
The news comes just as uproar following the recent Instagram controversy has died down. The company dropped a decision to sell their users’ photos to advertisers after losing more than a quarter of its customers in one week alone.
Now it appears as though Facebook and Google may find themselves backed into a similar corner. As two firms that profit particularly well from user data, the new EU proposal for tougher consumer protection must have come as something of a shock. Particularly so for Facebook, which has come under close scrutiny for some of its slightly disappointing revenue reports of late.
EU lawmakers are planning to limit companies’ ability to use and sell data to advertisers by stating that users must have the opportunity to consciously agree to data processing, or reject it. This kind of data can include internet browsing habits. Those who use Facebook regularly may have noticed adverts tailored to their individual interests or general internet activity.
Needless to say, Facebook and Google are planning to fight back against the curbs. The story is likely to be more popular amongst consumers however, with online forums becoming increasingly filled with people irritated by this kind of behaviour.
However, before panic sets in, it is worth noting that there are exceptions to the new proposed rules. For example, a firm would still be allowed to send junk mail to a user based on data it had gathered itself.
On Wednesday, a plan is expected to be announced to ensure that search engines and social network users are in control of how much of their data is sold to advertisers.