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Facebook Says It Can’t Protect Users Alone Day After Stock Collapses

Facing global backlash over data scandals, Facebook stock nosedived 20 per cent -- wiping over $120 billion off the company's market value in a single day

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Anonymous Facebook ads urged nearly 10 mn British voters to oppose Brexit. IANS
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Facing an intense public scrutiny over data leaks amid privacy concerns, Facebook has now called for the entire tech industry to come and protect people’s data.

According to David Baser, Director of Product Management at Facebook, nearly every day, news comes out from a different company about personal data that got into the wrong hands.

“Even if we’re all taking steps to shore up our privacy protections, we won’t find the answers in a silo. Companies are connected and our technology ecosystem can’t be reversed.

“So we need to work together on standards and best practices to make data portability a reality while also prioritizing people’s privacy and security,” Baser said in a blog post late on Thursday.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter last week announced that they will join the open source initiative called Data Transfer Project (DTP).

In the early stages at the moment, the Data Transfer Project will help users of one service to use their data to sign up for another service with encryption.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

According to Facebook, some of the world’s most popular apps have been built on its platform and the flow of information has the potential for abuse.

“Bad actors can gather information from people and use it in ways that they aren’t aware of and didn’t agree too, like selling personal data to marketers.

“Facebook has clear policies against this, but as we saw with the Cambridge Analytica situation, bad actors are more than willing to ignore these policies in pursuit of their own objectives,” Baser said.

Some argue that the best response to Cambridge Analytica would be to lock Facebook down completely so apps can’t get access to this kind of information but according to Facebook, limiting people’s ability to share information would erase the conveniences they enjoy.

Also Read: Facebook Rolls Out ‘Watch Party’ Communal Video Viewing Option to All Groups

“We need to find the right balance, giving people control over data sharing and preventing abuse without hampering people’s experiences or hindering innovation,” said Baser.

Facing global backlash over data scandals, Facebook stock nosedived 20 per cent — wiping over $120 billion off the company’s market value in a single day — after its revenue and user growth in the second quarter of 2018 fell short of investor expectations.

The social media giant reported 2.23 billion monthly active users — an increase of 11 per cent (year-over-year) which was its slowest growth in more than two years. (IANS)

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Anonymous Ads on Facebook Influenced 10 Million British Voters

Facebook faced flak for not doing enough to prevent spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election

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This photo shows the logo for Facebook on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. VOA

An anonymous political campaign on Facebook has reached nearly 10 million voters, asking them via advertisements to oppose British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the media reported on Saturday.

According to The Guardian, it was discovered by the digital campaign group 89up, which shared the details with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) panel into fake news.

“In adverts micro-targeted to individual constituencies, voters are exhorted to tell your local MP to bin Chequers,” said the report.

“This advertising is designed to specifically influence MPs,” 89up said.

All that is known about the campaign is what can be found on its website, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“Going by the name Mainstream Network, the group writes and publishes news stories on its website with an almost exclusively pro-Brexit slant, shared on its social media accounts,” the report added.

Facebook, spam
Anonymous Facebook ads urged nearly 10 mn British voters to oppose Brexit. IANS

“Over the last couple of weeks, I received a flood of about 50 emails – some quite abusive – urging me to ‘chuck Chequers’ and vote for out-and-out Brexit,” Labour MP Paul Farrelly was quoted as saying

The news comes at a time when Facebook is reeling under a couple of massive data breaches including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that impacted 87 million users earlier this year.

Facebook says it has set a goal of bringing a transparency feature for political ads — now available in the US and Brazil — to the UK and India by March 2019.

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With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad.

Facebook has also set up a War Room to reduce the spread of potentially harmful content.

Facebook faced flak for not doing enough to prevent spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election. (IANS)