Facebook Ireland is under fire for allegedly creating “shadow profiles” on both users and nonusers alike.
The startling charges against the social-networking giant come from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (IDC), which, Fox News reports today, is launching a“comprehensive” investigation against Facebook Ireland for extracting data from current users–without their consent or knowledge–and building “extensive profiles” on people who haven’t even signed on for the service.
Names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, work information, and perhaps even more sensitive information such as sexual orientation, political affiliations, and religious beliefs are being collected and could possibly be misused, Irish authorities claim.
Interestingly, Facebook users living outside of the United States or Canada are contracted with Facebook Ireland. Facebook users living inside the United States and Canada are contracted with Facebook Inc., headquartered in California. Running afoul of privacy laws is much more likely for companies operating outside of the United States, especially in Europe, where privacy laws are much more stringent.