Consent has various forms such as informed explicit unambiguous broad etc Each

Consent has various forms such as informed explicit

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Consent has various forms, such as informed, explicit, unambiguous, broad, etc. Each of these forms is quite diverse in nature. GDPR promotes the notion of consent to provide data subjects full control of their personal data. The absence of consent means a lack of control for data subjects over their personal data. Consent ensures that the data subject has ownership of their personal data and they choose how to navigate in the digital data world. In this section, the aim is to present a set of guidelines to manage consent in online social networks taking into account the provisions of the GDPR. Online social networks like Facebook have a long history of using the personal data of their users without obtaining explicit or direct consent. One such example is the US midterm election in 2010, where the company experimented with 61 million users and in attempts to influence their voting behavior [ 7 ]. GDPR came into force in May 2018 and is applicable to all companies (data controllers) that process personal data of EU citizens, whether operating in Europe or any third country. GDPR compliance is the only way forward for data controllers handling personally identifiable information of EU data subjects. Whereas, non-compliant data controllers are subject to hefty fines and may suffer loss of reputation among the increasingly privacy-conscious users. The current state of the art reveals that consent management mechanisms in online social networks are either non- existent or not GDPR compliant. Scientific literature also reveals the case of consent misuse in OSNs and one such example is the contagion study conducted by Facebook [ 19 ]. Facebook did not require any explicit user consent for the study on the grounds that users have already given broad consent when they signed up to use the social network. The study provoked extended criticism and Facebook publicly acknowledged and apologized for its fault. Being a leading OSN service provider, Facebook has been questioned by regulators over the years about its privacy practices 7 . It is yet to be seen how Facebook and other OSN service providers manage to comply with new changes imposed by GDPR. A consent management mechanism constitutes a major step towards becom- ing compliant with GDPR. It is challenging to achieve consent compliance in current online social networks. A valid consent under GDPR must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. Current state of the art reveals that consent given by users to online social networks lacks granularity because OSN service providers seek consent for several purposes bundled together and users do not have the freedom to give or deny consent for each purpose. One such example is Facebook’s facial recognition feature that requires users to accept all purposes even if the user finds only one of them acceptable. If a user consents in such a setting, then it is not freely given consent. Another important feature of valid consent under GDPR is specificity that promotes transparency. As per the 7 Mark Zuckerberg
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