'Facebook Crimes' - Zuk's dirty laundry out in the open
Facebook on Defensive as Cambridge Case Exposes Data Flaw - Bloomberg - Cambridge Analytica, the data-analysis firm that helped U.S. President Donald Trump win the 2016 election, violated rules when it obtained information from some 50 million Facebook profiles, the social-media company acknowledged late Friday.
But the data came from someone who didn’t hack the system: a professor who originally told Facebook he wanted it for academic purposes. - He set up a personality quiz using tools that let people log in with their Facebook accounts, then asked them to sign over access to their friend lists and likes before using the app.
The 270,000 users of that app and their friend networks opened up private data on 50 million people, according to the New York Times. All of that was allowed under Facebook’s rules, until the professor handed the information off to a third party.
Facebook said it found out about Cambridge Analytica’s access in 2015, after which it had the firm certify that it deleted the data. On Friday, Facebook said it now knows Cambridge actually kept it -- an infraction that got Cambridge suspended from the social network.
Once that was announced, executives quickly moved on to defending Facebook’s security. Facebook says it has no way of knowing how or whether the data was used for targeting in the Trump campaign. - Facebook’s advertising business depends on users sharing their most personal data via its social network.
But the company’s “not a breach” argument isn’t likely to make users feel any safer or more comfortable doing so -- especially given that it’s already under fire for missing that Russian actors were purchasing U.S. election ads on the site to sway voter opinions, as well as running fake accounts disguised as real Americans.
The company has also been fending off accusations that it’s too slow to notice or react to harmful content. - The latest incident has raised new questions about what technical guardrails Facebook has in place to prevent authorized users from sharing sensitive information, and how much visibility the company has into how outsiders use the data. -
Lawmakers in the U.S. and U.K. aren’t convinced Facebook has its users’ best interests in mind. Over the weekend the company faced critiques from members of the Senate intelligence committee, and in London, the head of a parliamentary committee called on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to have a senior executive answer those questions.
UK: “We have repeatedly asked Facebook about how companies acquire and hold on to user data from their site, and in particular whether data had been taken from people without their consent,” ... “Their answers have consistently understated this risk, and have also been misleading to the committee.”