Facebook's money machine keeps running despite data mess

Posted April 28, 2018

As part of the global Search For Truth in the ongoing Facebook data-harvesting scandal, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee spent nearly five hours questioning the man Mark Zuckerberg sent to face the music.

"There are over 40 million Facebook users in the United Kingdom and they deserve to hear answers from Mark Zuckerberg about the company he created and whether it is able to keep its users' data safe". "Facebook needs to really simplify and clarify the way they use and protect data and allow developers to deal directly with their audience", says Andrea D'Ottavio, the founder of Webing Ltd., an app developer.

Among these were Facebook's delay in understanding the impact of Russian influence in the U.S. election, its "mistake" not to inform people their data had been sold to Cambridge Analytica when it first found out about it in 2015, and Schroepfer accepted the initial system for policing apps on its platforms had failed.

Appearing before the US Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the lawmakers that his own personal data was part of 87 million users" that was "improperly shared' with the British political consultancy firm.

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"The most powerful investment bank is a vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money", Farrelly read to Schroepfer.

Mr Schroepfer was also forced into an apology by Julian Knight MP over accusations Facebook had bullied journalists in the wake of the data breach scandal.

"We are unable to provide a specific time frame for when we will be reviewing apps for the platform again", Facebook replied, promising to provide more detail in the coming weeks. After all, people post all manner of personally revealing things on far more open platforms like Instagram and Twitter, its no wonder that some may simply shrug off data collection.

Schroeder said it was clear Facebook had not done enough to ensure its tools could "potentially being used for harm" or take a broad enough view of its responsibility. This may strike critics as manipulation of choice - which it is - but to many Facebook user-consumers, it brings the shopping catalogue to you, rather than you having to fetch or scroll down catalgoues.

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A "view ads" tool will also be rolled out in the United Kingdom by June this year, which will let users see all the ads every advertiser is running on Facebook at the same time. "It was my mistake", Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call with reporters.

"There isn't an opt-out for political advertising", he said.

"People tell us that if they're going to see ads they want the ads to be good", he said, noting that requires keeping track of what people are interested in.

The comments came as Facebook revealed quarterly sales rose by almost 50% in the social media giant's first results since the privacy scandal over users' data emerged. The ongoing process is testing Facebook's developer relationships.

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March 16, 2018: Social media giant, Facebook, knew ahead of time that on Saturday, the New York Times and The Guardian's Observer would published articles on leaked data. It is unknown whether it has also helped campaigns spread political messages, as was the case with Cambridge Analytica. Facebook, and their CEO, have said that GDPR is helpful because it will set a global standard.