European regulators have often been more aggressive and pro-consumer than those in the U.S., and now they’re looking at the privacy implications of open social network platforms like Facebook’s. Social network companies have been pushing open platforms that give third-party firms access to their users’ data. This is a revenue stream for Facebook, but regulators fear it’s a surrendering of user privacy, often without full knowledge and disclosure.
So far, the recommendations for further protection are just a part of a draft document that hasn’t been presented to the EC, but regulatory trends have been showing a significant pro-consumer, pro-privacy shift. The result may be increased difficulty in monetizing not only social networks but also other online trends like video. In the U.S., the House is also closing in on privacy legislation that may well impact social networks and behavioral targeting.