Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 1
I guess this is where my ignorance shows - everything I read is that the person who created the app had user permission (boilerplate) to take the data. The person then provided it to other people.
I think it's more than that (to the point that the debate isn't necessarily about those folks that used the Facebook app.) It's more that Facebook's API allowed the app to mine the data of the friends of the people that used the app - a far greater set of people who hadn't provided explicit permission for this use. Which - at least in the EU - could be a huge violation of the various privacy laws. So, depending on where these folks reside (& where their friends reside) this could turn into a serious business issue.

Now ... depending on how Facebook play this it could go away with minor (or major but affordable) fines, or turn into something that - at least in the EU - creates more or less serious restrictions on the business. Past history suggests Facebook is a bit 'tone deaf' but perhaps they get this response right. If not, there could be better pricing in the future for what so far has been a pretty good business (from a profitability perspective.) And Facebook's response (not really attempting to secure the data) suggest they've taken this pretty lightly so far.

I do agree though that the consumer risk (people rapidly abandoning the platform en-mass) is very unlikely. And so across the medium term the Facebook business should be OK (with perhaps some good buying opportunities offered in between now & then - sort of like with VW & it's various legal issues.)
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.