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Facebook Explored Plans to Sell Users’ Data: Report

According to Facebook, these partnerships were agreed via extensive negotiations and documentation, detailing how the third party would use the API, and what data they could and couldn’t access

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg discussed for years plans to sell access to users’ data to fight rivals, NBC News reported on Tuesday, citing leaked documents.

“Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social network’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data,” the report said after scanning through about 4,000 pages of leaked company documents.

“In some cases, Facebook would reward favoured companies by giving them access to the data of its users. In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps,” the report claimed.

The documents included emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries.

“For example, Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because it was spending money on Facebook advertising and partnering with the social network on the launch of its Fire smartphone,” the report said.

In another case, “Facebook discussed cutting off access to user data for a messaging app that had grown too popular and was viewed as a competitor,” according to the documents.

Facebook, however, denied that it gave preferential treatment to developers or partners because of their ad spending or relationship with executives.

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A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

A New York Times report last year claimed for the first time that Facebook allowed large technology companies and popular apps like Netflix or Spotify access to its users’ personal information.

Facebook reiterated it never allowed its partners to access private messages without a user’s permission.

Facebook Vice President of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong said that the social networking giant worked closely with four partners to integrate messaging capabilities into their products so people could message their Facebook friends — but only if they chose to use Facebook Login.

“These experiences are common in our industry — think of being able to have Alexa read your email aloud or to read your email on Apple’s Mail app,” said Archibong.

Also Read- Apple Continues to Lead the Global Premium Smartphone Segment

“People could message their friends about what they were listening to on Spotify or watching on Netflix, share folders on Dropbox, or get receipts from money transfers through the Royal Bank of Canada app.

“These experiences were publicly discussed. And they were clear to users and only available when people logged into these services with Facebook. However, they were experimental and have now been shut down for nearly three years,” said Archibong.

According to Facebook, these partnerships were agreed via extensive negotiations and documentation, detailing how the third party would use the API, and what data they could and couldn’t access. (IANS)

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Facebook Still Hosting NZ Shooting Footage: Report

Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature

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

Despite Facebook’s claim that the livestreaming video of the March 15 Christchurch shooting that killed 50 people was removed from its platforms, sections of the raw footage are still available for users to watch, the media reported.

According to a report in Motherboard on Friday, certain videos on Facebook and Instagram show sections of the raw attack footage.

“The world’s biggest and most well-resourced social media network is still hosting copies of the violent attack video on its own platform as well as Instagram,” the report claimed.

Some of the videos are slices of the original 17-minute clip — trimmed down to one minute or so — and are open to be viewed by anyone.

In one instance, instead of removing the video, which shows the terrorist shooting and murdering innocent civilians from a first-person perspective, Facebook has simply marked the clip as potentially containing “violent or graphic content”.

One of the clips shows the terrorist walking up to the first mosque he targeted, and opening fire. The video does not show the full attack, and stops at the 01:15 mark.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

A Facebook spokesperson, however, said “the video did violate our policies and has been removed”.

The Facebook livestreaming of the New Zealand terror attack sparked global outrage. The video was viewed over 4,000 times before it was removed.

The video was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

Also Read- Jack Dorsey Admits Twitter Makes it Easy to Abuse Others

Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature.

Earlier this month, New Zealand’s privacy commissioner John Edwards labelled Facebook as “morally bankrupt pathological liars” after the social media platform’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to play down the Facebook livestreaming of Christchurch shooting. (IANS)