Dutch Government Might Leave Facebook Over Privacy Concerns

Facebook often receives heavy criticism from European regulators over its data and privacy practices, and this week saw yet another example when the Dutch government threatened to leave Facebook over privacy concerns.

According to the Dutch government, its regulatory agency warned them to stop using Facebook pages because of concerns over how the company targets users. The government said it has asked for more transparency from Facebook, threatening to pull all its pages and stop communicating with citizens on the platform if its questions aren’t answered soon.

“People who visit a government page trust that their personal and sensitive information is in safe hands,” Dutch data regulator Aleid Wolfsen said. “The fact that this can also involve information about children and young people makes this even more important. They are vulnerable online and need extra protection.”

For its part, Facebook strongly disagreed with the action, saying it goes to great lengths to comply with privacy laws everywhere it operates in the world.

“We fundamentally disagree with the assessment that underpins this advice, which is wrong on the facts and demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding as to how our products work,” a Facebook spokesperson said a statement.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty small problem for Facebook. But it’s indicative of a broader trend of many world governments — including the US — turning against the company and grilling it over its privacy problems.

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