Parent company Facebook must prevent the sharing of address data

Photo: ANP

Facebook parent company Meta Platforms must ensure that users of the platform cannot share address details or phone numbers of others. So says the company’s supervisory board, the Oversight Board. It is the first time that the council has expressed its opinion on this so-called doxing. Even if the private information is publicly available, it should not be shared.

Doxing can lead to harassment and stalking. For example, the home address of Harry Potter author JK Rowling was recently shared on Twitter via a photo. In the Netherlands, the home addresses of Minister Sigrid Kaag (Finance) and Hugo de Jonge (Living) were made public via social media. A man was recently sentenced to six months in prison for revealing Kaag’s address. De Jonge was previously given extra police security for his house.

Last year, Meta already asked the council for advice when this private data may be posted on Facebook and Instagram, which the company also owns.

The council also believes that Meta should find a way so that victims whose home addresses have been shared on the platform can better explain their case to the company. Meta’s independent supervisory board includes scientists, human rights experts and lawyers. The Oversight Board was previously set up by Facebook as a kind of supreme court that must determine whether the social network applies its rules correctly.

Under current rules, users are not allowed to share information about themselves or others with which they can be identified, but Meta may allow messages such as posting someone’s address if it is considered “public information”.

The internal guidelines for Meta employees who monitor posts on the platform state that information is not private if it has been published by at least five news sources or if that information is publicly available. The council wants this exemption to be deleted and exceptions that are seen as newsworthy are applied consistently. Meta may also leave messages containing images of someone’s house if the house is the subject of a news story, but not if protests are organized against the resident for this.

Meta has 60 days to respond to the council’s ruling.

Parent company Facebook must prevent the sharing of address data
Source link Parent company Facebook must prevent the sharing of address data

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