Wednesday February 19, 2020
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Facebook Kept Sharing Users’ Friend Data in Special Deals, Report Says

Facebook made special data-sharing deals with some firms: Report

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LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay

In yet another bad day for Facebook, a Wall Street Journal report has claimed that the social networking giant provided select companies “customised data-sharing deals” that let them gain “special access to user records”.

According to the report citing court documents and unnamed sources, Facebook gave data access to some companies while “others were cut off”.

“Facebook Inc. struck customized data-sharing deals that gave select companies special access to user records well after the point in 2015 that the social network has said it walled off that information,” the report said on Friday.

These arrangements were known as “whitelists”, and allowed “certain companies to access additional information about a user’s Facebook friends”.

Companies like the Royal Bank of Canada and Nissan Motor reportedly made such deals with Facebook.

According to Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Vice President of Product Partnerships, the company allowed some firms to have “short-term extensions” to this user data.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“But other than that, things were shut down,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

In another privacy goof-up, Facebook on Thursday admitted that 14 million users were affected by a bug in May that automatically suggested posting publicly when the users were writing posts meant only for friends.

The bug made sure that the posts could be viewed by anyone, including people not logged on to Facebook. It was not yet known users in which country were affected the most.

The bug, according to Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, occurred as the Facebook developers were building a new way to share featured items on users’ profile, like a photo.

“The problem has been fixed, and for anyone affected, we changed the audience back to what they had been using before,” Egan said in a blog post late Thursday.

Also Read: Facebook Admits “Bug” Exposed Private Posts Of 14 Million Users

The revelation came after a New York Times report exposed how the social network allowed about 60 device makers, including Chinese smartphone players, to access personal information of users and their friends.

Facebook admitted sharing users’ data with Chinese company Huawei — facing the heat in the US over data privacy concerns — along with three other China-based smartphone makers Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

Facebook is facing intense scrutiny for misuse of millions of its users’ data after the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal became public. (IANS)

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Protesters Urge Facebook CEO to Not Share Misinformation Ads for US Politicians

Protesters urge Facebook not to run misinformation for US leaders

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Protestors rallied in front of a property owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in downtown San Francisco to urge him to stop profiting from misinformation ads for US politicians. Pixabay

Some advocacy groups in Bay Area rallied on Monday in front of a property owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in downtown San Francisco to urge him to stop profiting from misinformation ads for US politicians.

People from various cities in the Bay Area gathered outside Zuckerberg’s house on Presidents’ Day, which falls on Monday, to stage a “Wake the ZUCK Up” protest by chanting slogans and making noises with whistles to press him for making changes to his political ads policy, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Under current Facebook political ads policy, the Silicon Valley tech giant will not take any action against advertisements run by political leaders or groups even if they contain misinformation or lies, and those political ads, which target directly particular populations, creates “a completely distorted political dialogue,” Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director of the San Francisco-based non-profit Media Alliance, said.

She criticized Facebook for using technology of artificial intelligence to manipulate ad content so that other people cannot see it at all.

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Under current Facebook political ads policy, the Silicon Valley tech giant will not take any action against advertisements run by political leaders or groups even if they contain misinformation or lies. Pixabay

The protesters called themselves as “fed-up Facebook users” who are not happy with what’s going on with Facebook. “We don’t want distorted information fed to us day after day for your personal profit,” Rosenberg stressed.

She said her organization will partner with other groups to contact some Facebook advertisers to press Zuckerberg’s company to take on greater “corporate social responsibility” and handle “political ads in a much better way.”

Monday’s event was organized by Media Alliance and another San Francisco non-profit Global Exchange, in partnership with other community and advocacy groups in the Bay Area.

On January 9, Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern said the company will continue to allow political ads on its platform including Instagram, despite possible false information in those ads run by politicians.

Also Read- Follow These Tips to Nail Your College Presentation

He reasserted that “people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public. He argued that decisions about those topics should not be made by private companies like Facebook. (IANS)