Facebook is no stranger to strong critiques from politicians and privacy advocates here in the United States. However, the rhetoric directed against the company in this country pales in comparison to much of Europe, especially the United Kingdom. This week, the U.K. parliament issued a stinging report that slammed Facebook and other major tech companies over data practices, stating that the largest social network “is releasing a product that is dangerous to consumers and deeply unethical.”
According to the report, the U.K. is facing nothing less than a democratic crisis because platforms like Facebook allow fake and malicious content to spread. The report called for measures to hold companies like Facebook more accountable, and for tighter rules to be instituted around advertising. However, the report also asked users to become aware of what their data really means.
“Data crimes are real crimes, with real victims,” the report read. “This is a watershed moment in terms of people realizing they themselves are the product, not just the user of a free service. Their rights over their data must be protected.”
While no U.S. politician has called for such drastic actions from Facebook, the day may not be far away. Over the past year, the company has faced exponentially-increasing criticism from lawmakers concerned over its control of our information. For users worried about privacy, this kind of pressure on Facebook would be a major win.