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Privacy Commissioner wants Facebook to accept greater oversight

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 25 March 2019, 6:19p.m.
Facebook has been criticised by the Privacy Commissioner for a lack of contrition after the Christchurch attack.

Facebook is still in the firing line.

The social media giant has stayed very quiet since the Christchurch attacks, despite calls for more effective monitoring of posts and videos.

The Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has now written a strongly worded email to Facebook executives, telling them "your silence is an insult to our grief".

Edwards told Larry Williams that he wanted to call Facebook out for their lack of action.

He says that Facebook talks a big game when it comes to respecting privacy and he has had regular meetings with them where they show examples of their commitment to the cause, but that claim is frequently undermined. 

"Within days, we see another case of them concealing a breach or failing to audit their app. These things really undermine the credibility of the organisation and the reassurances they give us that they are taking this stuff seriously."

Edwards believes that the company now has to engage in a conversation around having greater oversight. 

"When those companies were set up, they were basically post boxes. And like post service, they weren't held accountable for their content. You don't prosecute the postie for putting an insulting letter in your mail box. But Facebook has moved on from stuff."

He says the company needs to take responsibility for the content on their website. 

Edwards agrees it was a huge task to take down all the footage of the alleged Christchurch gunman's livestream of the attack, but the content should have never been allowed in the first place. 

"I've heard no self reflection, no contrition, no acknowledgement of their role in this." 

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