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December 16, 2014

Dutch Privacy Watchdog Launches Probe Into Facebook Policy

Dutch privacy regulators are launching an investigation into Facebook’s privacy policy.

The Dutch Privacy Authority (DPA), is taking issue with the social network’s policy for handling users’ photos and data.

The privacy watchdog wants the policy changes from Jan. 1 to be put on hold until the probe has been completed and told Facebook just that in a statement.

The agency “wants to know what the consequences for the privacy of Facebook users are” and how it will “get permission for the use of their personal data.”

The policy changes in question hands Facebook the right to use its members’ information and images for commercial purposes. The social network did say, however, that Facebook will help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who its members are.

“We were surprised and disappointed,” Facebook spokeswoman Sally Aldous said of the investigation in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. “We recently updated our terms and policies to make them more clear and concise, to reflect new product features and to highlight how we’re expanding people’s control over advertising. We’re confident the updates comply with relevant laws.”