Facebook’s social responsibility should include privacy protection

Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Publication Date: 
April 12, 2018

In his congressional testimony, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed to understand the importance of protecting both the security and privacy of Facebook’s 2.2 billion users. People in the United States have come to realize the power of technology companies in their daily lives – and in politics. As a result, what they expect of those companies is changing. That’s why I believe, privacy protection must now become part of what has been called corporate social responsibility.

To its credit, the massive social network has begun taking action. Zuckerberg has promised the company will apply the protections of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation to all users around the world. It will also require political advertisers to provide additional transparency, as a new weapon in the reported “arms race” Facebook finds itself in with Russian propagandists. And the company is partnering with researchers to better understand its role in elections.

But there are those in Congress and in Europe who don’t think Facebook has gone far enough yet. European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli, for example, has suggested Facebook views its users as “experimental rats.”

In my view as a scholar of law and ethics in the technology industry, Facebook – and other leading tech firms such as Google and Twitter – should join nations around the world and declare that privacy and cybersecurity are human rights that must be respected.

Read the full piece at The Conversation