Abril 22, 2018

Facebook tightens issue ads, political ads to prevent election interference

08 Abril 2018, 01:33 | Dolorita Barahona

EnlargeDominic Lipinski PA Images via Getty Images

EnlargeDominic Lipinski  PA Images via Getty Images

The company scans private messages sent on the site, logs calls and texts that weren't even sent on Facebook and regularly trades user info for ad dollars.

But Facebook told TechCrunch it has not finalised exactly how the "unsend" feature will work.

Facebook told the outlet it was a corporate security measure. The court said, "Facebook informs us insufficiently about gathering information about us, the kind of data it collects, what it does with that data and how long it stores it", Newshub reported. Facebook has never publicly disclosed the removal of these messages until now, and simply quietly deleted them from recipient's Messenger inboxes. However, many more improperly obtained troves of Facebook user information could be floating out in the world from the era of lax Facebook policies.

Any advertiser who wants to run a political ad, either electoral or on a list of issues that Facebook will develop with third parties, will need to seek authorisation by the social media platform, in a process confirming their identity and location. In other words, Facebook users are unlikely to escape the breach.

Facebook announced a slew of changes Friday to increase transparency on who is allowed to purchase political advertisements on its platform.

The legislation would also require online platforms to make "all reasonable efforts" to ensure that foreign nationals and entities are not buying political ads to influence the USA electorate. The company did not specify what number of followers would trigger the requirement.

The company is trying to clamp down on fake pages and accounts used to disrupt the 2016 USA presidential election.

Facebook has said it will do a full analysis to root out other outsiders that harvested large volumes of Facebook user data as Cambridge Analytica did. It also throws the spotlight back onto the potential use of Facebook data during the Brexit campaign. Facebook said this week that 87 million people were affected by the leak, up from the previous estimate of 50 million. Facebook doesn't sell our data, but it uses it to sell marketers highly targeted access to us.

According to the founder of the social media platform, Facebook took down a large network of Russian fake accounts earlier this week that included a Russian news organisation.

"These steps by themselves won't stop all people trying to game the system".

Neither Zuckerberg nor his company has identified those who carried out the data scraping. Hearings over the issue are scheduled in the United States, and the European Union is considering what actions to take against the company.

The estimated 87 million people whose data might have been shared with political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica, of which 300,000 are expected to be Australian will soon receive a message informing them of that fact.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is planning a call with the EU's justice commissioner, while the company's top technology officer is expected to appear before a United Kingdom parliament committee and its deputy privacy chief will head to Italy.

Facebook and other internet companies are scrambling to bring themselves in line with an impending European Union law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will require websites to offer greater transparency on their data practices and give users more control over their own information. "But one thing to ask is, does Facebook need a billion users?"

Making matter worse, the spotlight-shy Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before Congress next week.

Other EU privacy regulators also weighed in on the data scandal, with Italian authorities saying on Thursday that they will meet April 24 with Stephen Deadman, Facebook's deputy chief global privacy officer, as part of their investigation into the scandal.

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