Facebook puts over 4 million gay people at risk

Facebook has done it again, this time it turns out gay people are at risk when they use the website.

The social network Facebook has been under fire by the public for a while. The one beloved stocks are going down and millions of (mostly young) people have stopped using the site. High level employees are speaking out and moving away from the company.

After being involved in several privacy scandals, the site has been in a downfall for the last year. And if that wasn’t enough, it happened again. This new privacy scandal involves homosexual people.

As it turns out, millions of gay people living in countries where homosexuality is outlawed could be put at risk by Facebook’s advertising practices. This is because the firm allows advertisers to target people on the basis of their interests, including sexual ones.

Because advertising is not restricted to any specific country, people living in countries were it is not allowed to be gay, could be at risk of being arrested. In some cases their lives could even be at stake, if you think about for example Saudi Arabian citizens.

Researcher Ángel Cuevas Rumín and his colleagues, from the Charles III University in Madrid, Spain, analysed the list of different options available for targeting specific audiences on Facebook. Next to the problem surrounding sexual preferences, they also found that about 2000 of the options would be classed as “sensitive” information under Europe’s recent GDPR law and that Facebook did not explain to it’s users that this data is still available to advertisers.

The GDPR law in the European Union was created around the time of the biggest Facebook privacy scandal in recent years, the Cambridge Analytica story. This new law states that every person in the European Union can now demand that sensitive data they do not want to be online can be deleted from websites.

So far Facebook did not comment on the new privacy scandal. Nor did they change any of the advertisement settings. At this moment our advise remains the same: #DeleteFacebook.

The quickest way to do this without leaving a trace behind, is here.

Source: New Scientist

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