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Japan wants better data protection from Facebook; Indonesia arrests gay page admins

Japan on Monday urged Facebook to improve the protection of personal data following a string of incidents in which the information of millions of users of the social networking site was leaked.

The Personal Information Protection Commission adopted a resolution on Monday asking Facebook to take measures to prevent similar incidents, the first such warning by the body to the social media giant, reports Efe news.

The document said that personal data of Facebook users included in their profiles or browsing history were automatically transferred to Facebook when they viewed an outside website that had Facebook’s “Like” button, even when the users did not click on the button.

The Commission asked Facebook to provide clear explanations about how it uses personal data, take the consent of users to transfer their data to other platforms and to respond appropriately to those who request for their data to be deleted.

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Around 29 million Facebook accounts were hacked in September, including several million in Japan, while approximately 100,000 Japanese users were affected by the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, according to the report by the Japanese commission.

The panel also ordered Facebook to report the conclusions of its internal investigation into the breach by the political-data firm.

The committee is a supervisory body responsible for the protection of personal data in Japan and is also responsible for issuing orders to companies based in the country, linked to compliance with national regulations.

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Indonesia arrests admins of FB page for gays

Indonesia has arrested two people in Java island for running a Facebook page for gays, accusing them of publishing pornography, the media reported on Monday.

In 2015, the couple had set up a Facebook page “Gay Bandung Indonesia”, with more than 4,000 members.

West Java police spokesperson Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko told Efe news that the two were arrested on Thursday and that investigation by the public prosecutor’s office was underway.

Once they are formally charged under the Law on Electronic Information and Transactions (EIT), the two could face a maximum of six years in prison and a fine of up to one billion rupiahs ($66,000) if convicted.

According to Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch Indonesia, this was the first time that the EIT law was being used against the LGBT community.

It was earlier used to crack down on pornography, he added. Aceh, in Sumatra island, is the only province in Indonesia where homosexuality is illegal.

The arrests are being seen as yet another assault on the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community in the country.

In February, the country’s Information Ministry had blocked more than 200 mobile applications and websites with content related to homosexuality.

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