Facebook Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg will testify next week before a congressional committee over a political consulting firm’s misuse of customer data to interfere in the United States presidential election, USA lawmakers said on Wednesday (Apr 4).
Facebook’s announcement, made near the bottom of a blog post Wednesday afternoon on plans to restrict access to data in the future, underscores the severity of a data mishap that appears to have affected about one out of every four Americans and sparked widespread outrage at the carelessness of the company’s handling of information on its users.
After Facebook revealed that a number of Australian users were involved in the Cambridge Analytica leak, the government has launched into action. Helps described Facebook as “a toxic, echo chamber where people who have anything positive to say are often in defense mode against negativity and anger”. But participants unknowingly gave researchers access to the profiles of their Facebook friends, allowing them to collect data from millions more users.
“We believe that when you visit a page or see an ad on Facebook, it should be clear who it’s coming from”, the statement said.
“We explain the services we offer in language that’s easier to read”.
The chief of Italy’s Competition Authority said Friday the watchdog has also opened an investigation on Facebook’s potential unfair practices.
The new requirement is meant to clamp down on users with fake accounts running Facebook Pages.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s automatic systems can surface content that doesn’t abide by its rules.
Private data of over 5.6 lakh Indian Facebook users was compromised by a private marketing firm that later sold the personal details acquired through a quiz app to Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based company at the centre of a global privacy breach storm.
Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the state Republican Party, said the party uses the Republican National Committee for voter data and never used Cambridge Analytica for that objective.
The Facebook co-founder took some heat last month after the revelations became known about the possible misuse of user data. We did not receive more data than this. The company also is planning to release in June a searchable archive of all past political ads which would show not just their images and text, but also the amount that was spent on them and the demographic audience information that was used to target them at Facebook users.
Zuckerberg’s announced testimony before House Energy and Commerce is his first confirmed appearance ever in front of a congressional committee, although a Facebook spokesperson told ABC News that “conversations with other committees continue” about additional appearances on Capitol Hill. In addition, the company is removing the option to search for users by entering a phone number or an email address.
“So far we’ve heard contrition of Mark Zuckerberg”, Vladeck writes.
Also, Facebook’s social app downloads improved on a monthly basis both in the USA and globally, according to the data. But Facebook said the location was “not an indication of voter registration, nationality or citizenship and may not, in some cases, indicate actual place of residence”.