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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cambridge Analytica Case: Facebook Testifies in a 500-page Document


The Cambridge Analytica case led Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to several legislative institutions to testify about his company's privacy practices. Among these institutions, there is the US Congress that submitted Zuckerberg 10h interrogation to understand the policy of use of user data. This is how legislators have raised several concerns that Facebook's boss has promised to answer from where this testimony of 500 pages published on Monday.

In the document, Facebook, like its CEO in his various testimonials, promised to conduct a survey to clarify his possible involvement in the Cambridge Analytica case while continuing to improve its privacy practices. However, many questions from congressional lawmakers have remained unanswered or have been flown over by Facebook in its attempt to answer.
Facebook reassured the Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee that it was reviewing all developer applications available on its platform that interact with large amounts of user data. In addition, 200 suspicious applications have already been suspended for this purpose.
The investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal where personal information about 87 million social site users have been misused by the political consulting firm is still relevant, said Facebook. Facebook wants to shed light on this case about the role played by society in data leakage. The case has also sparked an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that could impose a heavy penalty on Facebook at the pace that things are going.
However, Facebook said in the document about its consultants integrated into the 2016 presidential campaigns, including President Trump's team, that he "did not identify any problem involving the misuse of Facebook data during of their interactions with Cambridge Analytica. Moreover, he had, in a previous exchange, said to provide "technical support and advice on best practices to advertisers, including Cambridge Analytica, on the use of Facebook's advertising tools."
Facebook has also introduced new tools to support its privacy practices, including a feature called "Clear History" that will "allow users to see websites and apps that send information to Facebook when they use it. The feature will also allow users to delete this data from their accounts and disable such exchanges with their accounts in the future, "said the company.
But the social media giant has dodged the issues and concerns of lawmakers in some cases, omissions that could irritate some members of Congress who previously criticized Zuckerberg for the lack of concrete answers in his speech. In addition, this behavior could further strengthen congressional criticism as they continue to evaluate the new regulations in response to a series of recent incidents, writes The Washington Post.
Indeed, several questions were dodged or overflown in the answers provided by the company. Facebook had promised Congress in April that it would answer written questions after Zuckerberg was put to Congress for questioning about user data breach.
A question from Senator Christopher A. Coons of Delaware to know if Facebook had never learned that an application developer "transferred or sold user data without the consent of the user" and violated the policies of Facebook , the company instead announced a commitment to "investigate all applications that had access to large amounts of data."
In a more than one-page letter to Facebook, Texas Senator Ted Cruz attacked the company and its counterparts in Silicon Valley by asking about Facebook donations to political groups such as Planned Parenthood. The senator even raised the online criticism of Taylor Swift's recent song on Earth, Wind and Fire which he described as "hate speech". But Facebook has not satisfied the concerns of Senator Ted Cruz.
Facebook also did not answer Senator Patrick J. Leahy's question from Vermont. He wanted to understand if the Obama campaign in 2012 had violated any of Facebook's policies. The senator cited reports on Obama's digital team that the team had collected data on users and their friends, an approach that Facebook had allowed at the time. Facebook simply wrote in the document submitted to Congress that "both the Obama and Romney campaigns had access to the same tools, and no campaign received special treatment from Facebook."
And not to fix the situation of Facebook, the company continues to be involved in a series of missteps that increase the potential for severe sanctions imposed by regulators around the world.
Facebook confirmed the previous week that phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, HTC and Huawei were using user data as part of a data sharing agreement. It defends, moreover, the cause of its partners to, only, use this data to improve the user experience on terminals like smartphones. But experts in privacy do not agree. They say that users may not have been fully aware of the situation.
Another scandal recognized by Facebook concerns 14 million of its users. The company claims that these users would be the victims of a problem that put the default settings for all new public messages, even if users had indicated that they wanted their updates to be private.
Another controversial revelation of the company, that it has given access to user friend data to major brands such as Nissan automaker is reported by The Washington Post.

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