For Facebook, risk and riches in user data

Source: Somni Sengupta, The New York Times

It is Facebook’s biggest conundrum. As the world’s largest social network, it faces intense scrutiny from consumers, courts and regulators worldwide over how it handles the data it collects from its 845 million users. But as a company preparing to go public, it is under pressure to find new ways to turn that data into profit. The scrutiny is at its most intense in Europe. Regulators in Ireland, where Facebook has its European headquarters, have already demanded that it give users greater control over their information. A proposed Europe-wide law goes much further by requiring Facebook, along with every other online business, to expunge every bit of personal data at a consumer’s request.

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