Facebook Dobs On Tech Giants Says They Also Collect Data

Yolanda Curtis
April 18, 2018

According to Kaiser, the effort was overseen by Cambridge Analytica's British chief executive, Alexander Nix, who was forced out of the company in March after he was caught on tape bragging about his company's approach to political work, including the use of shell companies and strategies created to entrap opponents.

These quizzes, Kaiser said, were in addition to the now infamous Thisisyourdigitallife personality quiz CA conducted with University of Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan's firm Global Science Research to harvest information from 87 million Facebook accounts. Turns out the embattled social company - presently embroiled in one of the most critical data privacy issues of the modern era - still collects information from users who don't actively use the network. Zuckerberg to meet European Union digital chief MORE and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg over the lack of accountability at the company.

Furthermore, members from Congress were also concerned with Facebook's dominance of the social media market and how its influence might reclassify the company as something more than just a "technology company" as Zuckerberg put it.

The privacy invasion scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a London-based data firm, and Facebook showed both companies inappropriately handled the personal information of about 87 million people. My question: Why doesn't Facebook disclose to its users all the ways that data might be used by Facebook and other third parties?

"Those who truly can't afford it might suddenly feel more resentment towards the Facebook ads they've been scrolling past unperturbed for years", reporter Josh Constine wrote for TechCrunch. Cookies and device identifiers help us determine whether you're logged in, which makes it easier to share content or use Facebook to log into another app. I'll use websites as an example, but this generally applies to apps, too. During the fierce election battle, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter systematically aired information to tarnish the image of political rivals.

Among the reasons I count Zuckerberg's appearance on Capitol Hill as mere theater is that he wasn't the only person who should have been testifying.

"If we want to ensure less competition for Facebook, then we should regulate it", Grimes said.

We don't sell people's data.

Kaiser said Banks asked Cambridge Analytica for a joint Brexit campaigning strategy for Leave.EU, the United Kingdom Independence Party, which Banks was a major donor to, and his insurance company, Eldon Insurance, before the 2016 UK-EU referendum (Financial Times - may be behind paywall). To use a fancy word, it "curates" our news and other information.

I should emphasise that the ["This is your digital life" quizzes] were not the only Facebook-connected questionnaires and datasets which Cambridge Analytica used. They operate within the framework our government provides, and we invest our time and information with them as we please. The leakage of personal data makes us wonder about the extent of reliability and security of social media platforms.

Let me be clear: I'm not defending Zuckerberg's or any other tech executive's actions.

Larry Ponemon, the chairman of the think tank, said the Zuckerberg-led Facebook received high scores in the past due to its users spending a significant amount of time on its properties.

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