Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Science | By

Millions of Europeans affected by Facebook data scandal

Millions of Europeans affected by Facebook data scandal

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg announced new policies for political ads Friday in a bid to increase transparency on the platform. "This will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content that way", he said.

The company says it has been removing Mr Zuckerberg's messages from the inboxes of various people for several years and the recipients were not informed before that happened. To get verified, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location.

The EU wrote to Facebook last week to ask how many Europeans were affected by the growing scandal over the harvesting of personal data which was then shared with British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Global News has reached out to AIQ for comment, but in a previous statement the company said it has worked "in full compliance within all legal and regulatory requirements in all jurisdictions where we operate".

"What we didn't do is the next step of an audit and we're trying to that now", she said. The company also said it would require managers of popular Facebook pages to have their identity verified.

Cambridge Analytica tweeted on Wednesday, "When Facebook contacted us to let us know the data had been improperly obtained, we immediately deleted the raw data from our file server, and began the process of searching for and removing any of its derivatives in our system". Facebook was correct to kill the phone number search feature, albeit belatedly, but the issue of bad actors collecting users' phone numbers or other data on the platform remains unsolved.

Facebook users can opt out of seeing targeted ads, but cannot shut off ads altogether.

Some of the information improperly harvested from Facebook Inc. users might be stored in Russian Federation, said the former employee of Cambridge Analytica who blew the whistle on the data-privacy scandal involving the analytics firm's role in the 2016 presidential election.

Cambridge Analytica, in its turn, stated that Wylie had been a part-time contractor and left the company in July 2014, so he had no direct knowledge of the company's work since that. Third-party apps will henceforth need approval from Facebook and an admin before they could access a group. The upcoming feature, the deleting of "deleted" videos, the reducing of SMS and call logs and more show that many of Facebook's latest privacy features are merely reactive. Over the past three weeks, the scandal has continued to spiral.

But after downloading the Facebook archive data and searching for the same message, users reported that they couldn't find the message from Zuckerberg and reported them as missing.

"The new rules also include the obligation for the data processor to inform the consumer swiftly of a possible data breach - within 72 hours".

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