Zuckerberg apologises for data scandal in UK adverts

Noel Cummings
March 26, 2018

"You know we have a basic responsibility to protect people's data and if we can't do that then we don't deserve to have the opportunity to serve people".

Facebook is proposing only narrow countermeasures that address the specifics of the furor over Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook's privacy practices came under fire after accusations emerged that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm affiliated with President Trump's 2016 campaign, inappropriately obtained data. "This was a breach of trust, and I'm sorry we didn't do more at the time", Zuckerberg wrote. One such errant app was central to the Cambridge Analytica debacle.

The ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal has left Facebook reeling as the enormo social media service attempts to navigate the fallout over the alleged theft of data on 50 million users.

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"They're being very deft and creating the illusion of trust", said Scott Galloway, a New York University professor of marketing.

Ultimately, Facebook is a data-collection company and without user data, it would wither and die. What's worse, he said, it was hard to avoid extracting private data. You might be surprised at what Facebook's privacy policy allows - and what's left unsaid.

Far from being the mild mannered computer geek he appears at first glance, there are notorious stories of Zuckerberg giving rousing Braveheart-esque speeches to Facebook employees.

"Facebook's advertising system depends on user data, and it has used that data to develop targeted advertising capabilities that are better than any other company can offer".

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We've already stopped apps like this from getting so much information.

Facebook has since restricted what types of data apps could access, notably in 2014, but as the Cambridge Analytica debacle shows, loopholes remained.

Both Facebook and CA have denied any wrongdoing.

Can the source (s) of "news" and advertising sent to a Facebook user as a result of user targeting data be identified in a user-useful way?

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"I would say to him: You can fix it". That would let people decide whether or not to keep them.

A Facebook spokesman confirmed the company had received the House letter and was reviewing it, but did not say whether or not Zuckerberg would agree to testify. If Facebook were forced to change the way it uses data or the way its ad products work, then advertisers may become less enamored with it.

Mozilla said it would consider returning to Facebook if the company strengthens its default privacy settings for third party apps.

The paper also reported several investors who have proposed moving Facebook shares out of their "ethical" funds, including the nordic bank Nordea and the German group Union Investment. Facebook was sued over Beacon and shut it down in 2009.

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