October 24, 2018

You're apathetic about privacy, and Facebook is counting on it

15 April 2018, 02:47 | Elsie Buchanan

You're apathetic about privacy, and Facebook is counting on it

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With the pressure mounting on the social network, some are speculating that Facebook may soon launch a paid-for version of the platform alongside its current free offering.

A little-noticed segment of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimonies before US lawmakers last week was that pertaining to the company's marketing tactic to enrol children.

The congressional hearings this week followed revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, had improperly harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

Senate Gary Peters asked Mr Zuckerberg the direct question of "Yes or no, does Facebook use audio obtained from mobile devices to enrich personal information about users?"

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Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg returns to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for more questioning by lawmakers who have a rare chance to air grievances about the company directly to the head of the world's largest social media network.

Ex-Cambridge Analytica employee, Chris Wylie, had told United Kingdom lawmakers last month that Cambridge Analytica illegally gained access to data for 50 million Facebook users.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. He said Facebook had considered the data collection "a closed case" and had not alerted the Federal Trade Commission.

If the people that represent us really want to hold Zuckerberg and Facebook accountable, we should be able to call his bluff.

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Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, was set to send a letter to Zuckerberg on Monday insisting the Facebook cofounder come testify, a spokesman for Tajani said Thursday, amid heightened concern about Facebook's privacy practices. Future scandals could potentially damage the company's reputation. But it's also a spooky reminder of how much Facebook must know about you and what you do in your daily life.

But they also gave the app access to data from their friends, who did not directly consent to the terms of the app. In a March 7 email to Dehaye, Facebook's privacy operations team essentially said that because this information is kept in a more hard to reach area than the basic stuff, it had decided it wasn't going to include it in the file. According to a recent survey about Facebook users and their expectations, almost 60 percent of respondents expected the company to collect some data about them.

This has a lot of people frustrated with Facebook. For example, Facebook tracks your activity across websites outside the platform, including not just what sites you visit, but whether you've made purchases or shared information with a company-that's how it knows what ads should be targeted to you. Meanwhile, amid fierce competition in Silicon Valley, the company is said to be closely monitoring morale at the company, though The Journal also reports that many employees appear to be mostly undaunted by the scandal.

The trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue said in a letter to Zuckerberg that Facebook should adopt as a worldwide standard the privacy rules that will take effect next month throughout Europe - rules that truly empower consumers.

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