Saturday January 19, 2019
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‘Delete’ Facebook, says WhatsApp co-founder amid Cambridge Analytica scandal

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 but Acton remained with the company for several years

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook needs to fix itself. Pixabay
  • Brian Acton asked users to delete Facebook
  • It was due to data leakage allegations
  • Facebook faces backlash after allegations came to light

Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, late on Tuesday asked users to “delete” the social media platform, Facebook, amid alleged data leakage of its users for political purposes.

“It is time. #deletefacebook,” Brian Acton tweeted to more than 23,000 of his followers. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Facebook is facing a major backlash after reports emerged that the political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, accessed the data of its 50 million users without their permission.

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Facebook was previously accused of leaking information too. VOA

The company received the user data from a Facebook app years ago that purported to be a psychological research tool, however, the firm was not authorised to have that information.

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Earlier on Tuesday, UK’s data protection watchdog sought a court warrant to search the London headquarters of the political data analytics consultancy that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and allegedly harvested Facebook profiles of US voters to influence their choices at the ballot box.

The UK Information Commissioner also ordered the auditors hired by Facebook to stand down when they visited the Cambridge Analytica headquarters. Meanwhile, lawmakers from the US and the UK have called for action following the reports of the data leak of the Facebook users.

Facebook invests big in Community Leaders Program. AFP
WhatsApp cofounder asked users to delete Facebook. AFP

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 but Acton remained with the company for several years before quitting to start “Signal Foundation” earlier in 2018.

Last month, he invested $50 million into “Signal”, an independent alternative to hugely-popular WhatsApp. Another WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, still leads the company and sits on Facebook’s board. IANS

Next Story

Facebook Faces ‘Record-Setting’ Fine Over Privacy Violations: Report

Facebook also admitted a security breach in September last year that impacted nearly 50 million users

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook is facing a “record-setting” fine from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its handling of user data and privacy violations.

According to a report in The New York Times citing sources late Friday, the FTC “is in the advanced stages of its investigation into whether Facebook violated privacy rules and is expected to seek large fines from the company”.

The highest financial penalty ever imposed by FTC was $22.5 million on Google in 2012 for privacy violations, and the Facebook fine is “expected to be in the excess of that”, according to The Washington Post.

In April 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called to testify before Congress after British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to data of nearly 87 million users without permission.

In December, Facebook refuted a New York Times report that claimed it allowed large technology companies and popular apps like Netflix or Spotify access to its users’ personal information.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Facebook said it did not give large tech companies access to people’s data without their permission as its integration partners “had to get authorisation from people”.

Another New York Times report in late December claimed that thousands of Facebook content moderators rely on inaccurate and disorganised information to determine what content to allow or remove from its platform, accusing the platform of being “ad hoc”, “disorganized”, “secretive”, and doing things “on the cheap”.

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Facebook also admitted a security breach in September last year that impacted nearly 50 million users.

The FTC and Facebook are yet to comment on the report. (IANS)