An EU committee of data protection regulators has recently announced that all social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace are legally responsible for their users’ privacy. According to the Register, the European data watchdogs regard such sites as “data controllers”, thus they have to abide by all legal obligations such a status entails. Even if they are headquartered in a different country, social networking companies still are data controllers under EU laws.
Also, the site users hold a similar position, making them all legally responsible for all information posted on behalf of a club, society or company.
“SNS [Social Network Service] providers are data controllers under the Data Protection Directive,” it said. “They provide the means for the processing of user data and provide all the ‘basic’ services related to user management (e.g. registration and deletion of accounts). SNS providers also determine the use that may be made of user data for advertising and marketing purposes – including advertising provided by third parties.”