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Social Media Giant Facebook Sues South Korean Firm Over Data Misuse

Federal prosecutors in the US are now probing whether top executives of Facebook were aware of data harvesting by the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica

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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

Battling the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Facebook has now filed a lawsuit in California state court against Rankwave, a South Korean data analytics company that ran apps on its platform.

The lawsuit alleged that Rankwave abused Facebook’s developer platform’s data and refused to cooperate with a mandatory compliance audit and request to delete the data.

“Facebook was investigating Rankwave’s data practices in relation to its advertising and marketing services.

“Rankwave failed to cooperate with our efforts to verify their compliance with our policies, which we require of all developers using our platform,” Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation said in a statement on late Friday.

She added that Facebook has already suspended apps and accounts associated with Rankwave.

“The lawsuit asks the court to enforce the basic cooperation terms that Rankwave agreed to in exchange for the opportunity to operate apps on the platform,” Romero noted.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s lawsuit centres around Rankwave offering to help businesses build a Facebook authorization step into their apps so they can pass all the user data to Rankwave.

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FILE – A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

“It then analyzes biographic and behavioural traits to supply user contact info and ad targeting assistance to the business,” the report said.

“That app could pull data about your Facebook activity such as location checkins, determine that you’ve checked into a baseball stadium, and then Rankwave could help its clients target you with ads for baseball tickets,” the report noted.

Rankwave’s Android app asks for users’ Facebook data in exchange for providing them a “Social Influencer Score”.

“By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message to developers that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies, including requiring developers to cooperate with us during an investigation,” said the social network giant.

Also Read- Japan Starts Testing the World’s Fastest Bullet Train

Facebook recently announced to ban personality quiz apps on its platform — a move taken after the Cambridge Analytica scandal last year that helped researchers access personal information of 87 million users via the quiz app “thisisyourdigitallife”.

Federal prosecutors in the US are now probing whether top executives of Facebook were aware of data harvesting by the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. (IANS)

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Private Firms Shouldn’t Censor Politicians, News: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump's campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform

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FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

Defending Facebook’s policy of not removing political advertisements containing false information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that a private company should not be censoring politicians and news.

Challenged on CBS over the policy, Zuckerberg said “people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians”.

The policy has faced criticism from several quarters due to concerns that ads containing false information may spread misinformation and distort elections.

“What I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments,” the Facebook CEO was quoted as saying.

While demands for reconsidering the policy emanated even from within the organisation, Zuckerberg did not commit to any changes.

Mark Zuckerberg. (Wikimedia Commons)

While Twitter has banned all political ads, Google last month announced new restrictions on such ads.

The Internet search giant put new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

Also Read: LinkedIn Visualizes 20 Times Growth in Coming 10 Years in India

The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level.

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump’s campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform. (IANS)