WPF Statement on NYT revelations of Facebook data practices

WPF is issuing this statement in response to the New York Times article dated 18 December, 2018  regarding Facebook’s data practices. The article provides meaningful new information about the data management and privacy practices of Facebook.




World Privacy Forum Statement on NYT revelations of Facebook data practices 

Media Contact:
Pam Dixon
World Privacy Forum


December 19, 2018


Portland, OR — The World Privacy Forum is deeply concerned about revelations and allegations that Facebook provided some of its partner companies with expanded permissions to access to Facebook users’ personal data. This information comes from a New York Times article published December 18, 2018. As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, it Carved an Opening for Tech Giants, by Gabriel J.X. Dance, Michael LaForgia and Nicholas Confessore.

Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, was quoted in the NY Times article, saying that: ‘.. Facebook would have little power over what happens to users’ information after sharing it broadly. “It travels,” Ms. Dixon said. “It could be customized. It could be fed into an algorithm and decisions could be made about you based on that data.” ’

Responding today to the article, Dixon said: “It is no longer possible in our modern world to rely on consent check boxes to manage all of our privacy needs. It is essential for federal privacy legislation to pass that will give consumers a true seat at the data decision making table, not just give consumers a box to check or uncheck.” 

WPF testified at a November FTC Hearing in Washington DC on the issues of AI, machine learning, and privacy. There, WPF discussed the issues of data brokers and the need for robust knowledge governance systems to protect consumers. WPF is submitting detailed comments to the FTC  in regards to these and additional privacy issues, including data brokers, and what kinds of data governance structures could be effective in creating meaningful solutions to complex privacy problems.

WPF issued an earlier statement regarding federal privacy legislation, noting that data brokers must be covered under any potential legislation

Additional Documents: 

WPF Comments on Federal Privacy Legislation & Data Brokers