Monday, 23 July, 2018

Facebook overhauls privacy settings amid data breach outcry

Too little too late? Facebook tweaks its Privacy Settings, adds 'Access Your Information' page Facebook pledges to make it easier to manage your privacy
Guillermo Lane | 30 March, 2018, 04:35

Zuckerberg initially resisted speaking to Congress, and had asked if a senior Facebook executive could be sent to represent the company in his name, two Facebook employees familiar with the conversations said. The stock has fallen 18 percent since the news was first revealed by the New York Times and The Observer of London earlier this month, wiping out nearly $100 billion of market value.

The changes come after revelations that the data firm Cambridge Analytica had wrongfully obtained Facebook profiles for at least 30 million Facebook users. On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission confirmed that it was investigating how Facebook handles information about its users.

Alessandro Acquisti, a Carnegie Mellon computer scientist who also co-authored the privacy study, said that Facebook's controls had gotten more and more complex over the years in response to a series of privacy scandals. But will anything rein in Facebook?

"I welcome Facebook's announcement that it will be shutting down its partner category service, using third party data to inform targeted advertising", said Elizabeth Denham, the British information commissioner.

That panel's leader, Chairman Damian Collins, previously accused Facebook of having "understated the risk" about the data it holds on its users - and whether it had been taken without consent.

Facebook is placing new limits on the data it shares with data brokers-companies like Acxiom and Oracle Data Cloud, which compile dossiers on consumers so as to make it easier for advertisers to target them with appropriate pitches. As concerns escalate about Facebook's collection and use of personal data, now may be the wrong time to ask consumers to trust it with even more information by placing a connected device in their homes.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy to face trial over corruption allegations
He failed to win his party's primary for the 2017 presidential election and has largely stayed out of politics since then. The investigators began to suspect the former president had kept tabs on a separate case through a network of informants.


The crisis also threatens the Silicon Valley tech industry whose business model revolves around data collected on internet users.

Behind the scenes, data brokers create detailed dossiers that they sell for marketing campaigns and fraud prevention, among other things.

"The last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies, and to help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data", Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, wrote in the blog post.

Facebook said it did not implement the changes entirely because of Cambridge Analytica - and wasn't motivated exclusively by Europe's new data protection rules, either.

"Learning of the recent meddling in a free USA election further demonstrates another concern we have of how they handle users' data - more than 25 million of which are Playboy fans - making it clear to us that we must leave the platform", Cooper Hefner wrote on Twitter.

Phasing out targeting based on information from data brokers could undercut the appeal of Facebook ads for marketers. And advertisers can still upload information they have on their customers to target ads on Facebook.

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