A UK committee consisting of influential members of Parliament and peers has released a 103-page privacy report titled "Privacy and injunctions" (PDF) in which it attacks Google, and lightly pokes at Facebook and Twitter. The group complained about how Google, Facebook, and Twitter were not filtering out content that is deemed illegal or in breach of a court order. My colleague Zack Whittaker explains it best:
Super-injunctions are court-ordered gagging orders that are used often by celebrities, used to prevent a person or organisation disclosing information about them, whilst at the same time preventing disclosure of the gagging order itself.
The committee's idea is simple:
One of the problems with super-injunctions is that because these are secret court orders, news publications are often unaware of whether something they want to or have published is in breach of that court order. If news publications are informed that a super-injunction applies to 'Person X' for 'Vague Reason Y', they can be mindful enough not to publish it and keep it from the public eye.
I contacted Facebook and the company said it is already examining the report.
"We are reviewing the report and will continue to engage in the debate around this important subject," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We are pleased the report notes that notice and take-down procedures operated by responsible social media providers, such as the one on Facebook, are effective."
As the company has done in the past, Facebook will likely insist it is compliant with the applicable laws and regulations in the markets it operates in.
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