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Facebook ‘exploited’ Australian kids for advertisers

Facebook monitored the posts of Australian children and used algorithms to identify and exploit them by allowing advertisers to target them during their "most vulnerable moments", media reported, evoking criticism against the social media giant.

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Facebook, Pixabay

May 02, 2017: Facebook monitored the posts of Australian children and used algorithms to identify and exploit them by allowing advertisers to target them during their “most vulnerable moments”, media reported, evoking criticism against the social media giant. A confidential 23-page Facebook document prepared by company’s two top Australian executives outlines how the social network can target “moments when young people need a confidence boost” in pinpoint detail, The Australian reported on Sunday.

Facebook collected the information on a person’s moods including feeling “worthless”, “overwhelmed” and “nervous” and then, it divulged the same to advertisers who use it to target them. Facebook admitted it was wrong to target the children and apologised.  “We have opened an investigation to understand the process failure and improve our oversight. We will undertake disciplinary and other processes as appropriate,” a Facebook spokeswoman told The Australian.

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“While the data on which this research is based was aggregated and presented consistent with applicable privacy and legal protections, including the removal of any personally identifiable information, our internal process sets a standard higher than required by law,” she added. Facebook’s tactic violates the Australian Code for Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children guidelines.

The revelation also points towards the how Facebook can be used for covert surveillance which most of the social networking sites claim to be fighting against. There have been rumours about Facebook’s advertising sales methods but there was no proof until now that could corroborate that. “The document is an insight on how Facebook gathers psychological insights on 6.4 million ‘high schoolers’, ‘tertiary students’ and ‘young Australians, New Zealanders… in the workforce’ to sell targeted advertising,” the report noted. IANS

 

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Facebook’s Internal Conversation Containing Confidential Memo Leaked Online

The leaked emails appear to have been referring to a privacy breach for Facebook where a third-party app almost disclosed the company's financial results ahead of schedule.

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The leaked emails appear to have been referring to a privacy breach for Facebook where a third-party app almost disclosed the company's financial results ahead of schedule. Pixabay

Internal conversation between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other company excecutives were leaked online that contained a highly confidential 2012 memo detailing several policy matters.

“About 60 pages of un-redacted exhibits from a lawsuit between Facebook and Six4Three, an app developer, were posted anonymously on GitHub,” the Guardian reported on Friday.

The leaked emails appear to have been referring to a privacy breach for Facebook where a third-party app almost disclosed the company’s financial results ahead of schedule. Internal conversations amongst the executives about the subject also found their way to the web.

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These documents have been sealed by a Californian court so we’re not able to discuss them in detail,” the report quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying. Pixabay

“These selective leaks came from a lawsuit where Six4Three, the creators of an app known as Pikinis, hoped to force Facebook to share information on friends of the app’s users. These documents have been sealed by a Californian court so we’re not able to discuss them in detail,” the report quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying.

Another exposed confidential document appears to be a July 2012 eight-page memo from Facebook’s then Vice President of global public policy, Marne Levine, discussing plans for data collection on Android devices.

ALSO READ: New York Orders State to Investigate in Facebook Access to Data

Levine’s exposed memo shows detailed efforts by Facebook executives and employees to curry favor with politicians from around the world and it also highlights a meeting between a Facebook staffer and the head of California’s eCrime unit to discuss then-California attorney general Kamala Harris’s office of privacy protection, the report added.

“Like the other documents that were cherrypicked and released in violation of a court order last year, these by design tell one side of a story and omit important context,” the Facebook spokesperson added. (IANS)