Monday January 20, 2020
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Mark Zuckerberg Claims Facebook Does Not Sell Users’ Data

Facebook had said it never gave large tech companies access to people's data without their permission as its integration partners "had to get authorisation from people"

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As Facebook turns 15 next month, its Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has once again defended the social media giant, saying the company is not selling its users’ data to anyone.

“We don’t sell people’s data, even though it’s often reported that we do,” he wrote in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

“Clickbait and other junk may drive engagement in the near term, but it would be foolish for us to show this intentionally,because it’s not what people want,” he added.

The 1,000-word defence came after Facebook faced intense scrutiny over how it handled data of over two billion users amid several data scandals in recent years.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Based on what pages people like, what they click on, and other signals, we create categories and then charge advertisers to show ads in that category,” he said.

“You have control over what information we use to show you ads, and you can block any advertiser from reaching you,” the Facebook CEO added.

In December, the social media giant said it never allowed its partners to access users’ private messages without their permission, after a New York Times report claimed that Facebook allowed large technology companies and popular apps like Netflix or Spotify to access its users’ personal information.

Zuckerberg said people “consistently tell us they don’t want to see this content”.

In a bid to prevent foreign interference into elections, facebook has also begun labelling all political and issue ads in the us -- including a "paid for by" disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the advertisement.
Facebook CEO of Mark Zuckerberg. Wikimedia commons

“Advertisers don’t want their brands anywhere near it. The only reason bad content remains is because the people and artificial-intelligence systems we use to review it are not perfect — and not because we have an incentive to ignore it. Our systems are still evolving and improving,” he added.

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On collecting personal data, the CEO said: “There’s no question that we collect some information for ads but that information is generally important for security and operating our services as well.”

Facebook had said it never gave large tech companies access to people’s data without their permission as its integration partners “had to get authorisation from people”. (IANS)

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US Judge Orders Facebook to Disclose Malicious Apps’ Data: Report

The social networking giant found that the apps -- primarily social media management and video streaming apps -- retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface)

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

As part of a probe ordered in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users, a US judge has ordered Facebook to hand over data of thousands of apps that violated its user privacy.

Facebook admitted last year that it suspended “tens of thousands” of apps for possible privacy violations.

A Massachusetts judge rejected the social networking giant’s attempts to withhold the key details from state investigators, The Washington Post said in a report on Friday.

“We are disappointed that the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Court didn’t fully consider our arguments on well-established law. We are reviewing our options, including appeal,” a Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone was quoted as saying in the report.

Maura Healey, the Democratic Attorney General of Massachusetts, said: “We are pleased that the Court ordered Facebook to tell our office which other app developers may have engaged in conduct like Cambridge Analytica.”

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The state of Massachusetts launched the probe last September after Facebook admitted that it had suspended “tens of thousands” of apps on its platform as a result of its review on privacy practices launched following the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

The review, launched in 2018, followed revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users and included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a Facebook statement.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in a record-breaking, $5 billion fine for Facebook from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Also Read: I Fall in Love with India Every Time I Return Here: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

In November 2019, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface). (IANS)