Facebook’s lobbying against global privacy laws


Jim Edwards filed this report for Business Insider Australia:

Facebook threatened to pull investment projects from Europe and Canada if lobbying demands from COO Sheryl Sandberg were not met, according to court documents seen by Computer Weekly and The Guardian. In both cases, Sandberg told government officials from the European Union and Canada that if she did not receive certain reassurances then Facebook would consider other “options” for investment and growth.

A political mystery writer would be laughed out of the room with this script:

Together with her entourage, [Marne Levine, then Facebook’s vice-president of global public policy] was dispatched by car to a Canadian reception for finance trade and foreign affairs ministers “so that we could cut the awful staff person out of the way”.

Facebook’s team distracted the minister’s aide and other officials, allowing Levine to “touch base” with three government ministers and get their mobile phone numbers. “We were out of there in 20 minutes,” said Levine.

Facebook is like Mr Orange or the current Australian LNP mob, nothing they do or say surprises me any more. Actually that’s not quite right, I’m surprised how amateur some of these efforts really were. Although I suppose I should judge based on how effective they were at getting their way. In which case, Mission Accomplished!

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