Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Science | By

Federal, BC privacy czars team up to investigate Facebook and AggregateIQ

Federal, BC privacy czars team up to investigate Facebook and AggregateIQ

This time, the slip-up stems from CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives being allowed to delete Messenger messages they had already sent - a feature not offered to other Messenger users.

Now, in the wake of the backlash, Facebook says it will release "a broader delete message feature" to users in the coming months. Facebook has never publicly disclosed the removal of these messages until now, and simply quietly deleted them from recipient's Messenger inboxes.

But the lack of disclosure has angered some Facebook users, as has the absence of any similar tool for normal users.

Facebook appears to have not followed these policies in this instance, and it raises questions about the recipient's right to privacy. Facebook CEO answered, "I remember, one Saturday morning I got a phone and we detected that people were trying to spread sensational messages through- Facebook Messenger- to each side of the conflict". The Sony messages included disparaging remarks about movie stars and other people in the entertainment industry.

The company also said that it won't unsend or retract any more of Zuckerberg's messages, until the feature is made available to the larger audience. TechCrunch says it viewed an email receipt of a Facebook message from 2010 that proves they are telling the truth, as the messages contained in the email no longer where able to be viewed the sources' chat logs. Facebook had said it is "investigating" the specific number of people whose information was accessed, including those in India. In its response, Facebook has asserted that it had "at no time" agreed to Cambridge Analytica's use of any user data - including those in India.

"They gave us assurances, and it wasn't until other people told us it wasn't true", Sandberg said. The timing coincides with all the criticism that Facebook has gotten along with the Cambridge Analytica scandal.


However, the revelation that Facebook had been secretly deleting the messages has sparked uproar among users, many of whom are still reeling following the privacy scandal involving British firm Cambridge Analytica.

The move comes amid concerns that Russian-sponsored entities delivered Facebook ads designed to create discord and confusion ahead of the 2016 presidential election, and that companies such as political consultancy Cambridge Analytica created messages based on psychographic profiles gleaned from the platform to influence voters.

Sandberg also emphasized that the company is focused on protecting its users' data so that they may again feel comfortable connecting through Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify during two United States congressional hearings next week over the privacy scandal.

The firm has also not immediately responded to questions on whether any other secret privacy tools were available exclusively to Facebook executives.

The political data-mining firm allegedly used ill-gotten Facebook user data in its efforts to sway elections.

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