Facebook will restrict 3rd-party API access, but not their own access to user data.
The company said it’s shutting down a feature that left at risk the personal information of most of its 2 billion users, and it conceded that as many as 87 million users could have been affected by Cambridge Analytica’s mishandling of data.
“We’re starting this in the U.S. and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months”, Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page. He’s set to testify before Congress next week.
Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) is a government and military contractor that is the parent of Cambridge Analytica. In the future, only Facebook-approved apps that agree to strict requirements will be allowed to use the Events API. Facebook did not inform its users publicly or privately.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, in charge of protecting privacy rights of individuals, said in a statement that it would investigate, along with their counterpart in British Columbia, whether Facebook and AggregateIQ gave unauthorised access to users’ Facebook data.
“Overall, we believe these changes will better protect people’s information while still enabling developers to create useful experiences”.
The company is facing a global backlash over the improper data-sharing scandal. European Union data protection regulators from around the 28-nation bloc will also be meeting in Brussels next Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss their investigations, on which the United Kingdom watchdog has taken the lead. Facebook later confirmed that it has been secretly deleting messages sent out by Zuckerberg and other executives.
“But I think we got the balance wrong”, she said.
The audit of Cambridge Analytica is on hold, in deference to a United Kingdom investigation. This is a snapshot of what someone sees, even if you’re not friends on Facebook. But the FEC’s proposal so far does not address issues ads.
The company will also start requiring Pages with big follower bases to be verified. Mr. Zuckerberg said it’s important to the company to have these changes done prior to the midterm races this fall. “By increasing transparency around ads and Pages on Facebook, we can increase accountability for advertisers-improving our service for everyone”. To become authorized, an advertiser must confirm their identity and location to Facebook.
Yet political advertising could also come up at the hearings. This does not mean the company is planning to let users do this.
Zuckerberg assures that in order to require verification for all of these pages and advertisers, Facebook will hire thousands of more people.
The ads will be put into a searchable database, which will be released in June. Facebook never notified them it was doing this.