Zuckerberg testimony undermines Facebook stance in terrorism case

Mark Zuckerberg

Following the fallout from the recent scandal, Facebook is making changes behind the scenes to help boost users' privacy protection.

Social media is being forced to take the trust we place them seriously, and is, for the first time not just addressing how data is shared but also, fake news and what a trusted source is.

Over the last couple of weeks, Facebook has been trying to fix its image and has been doing this by offering a number of explanations on how it collects and uses data. Zuckerberg did not respond.

Some experts say it's an addiction, that the pull of Facebook's news feed is as compelling as those one-armed bandits in casinos.

The company said the cost of Zuckerberg's "overall security program" was a way to address "threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as our founder, Chairman, and CEO".

So, what does Facebook do with data it receives from other websites and apps? If they do, we'll show them ads from the same advertisers that are targeting them on Facebook.

"'Whether it's information from apps and websites or information you share with other people on Facebook, we want to put you in control - and be transparent about what information Facebook has and how it is used". Facebook Social Plugins such as Like and Share buttons are used by third-party apps and websites to make the site appear more social and also help share the website's content on the Facebook.

If a website uses Facebook features, even if the visitor doesn't have a Facebook account, it provides metrics including IP addresses, what operating system is in use, and cookies. He acknowledged that Facebook should not have trusted Cambridge Analytica's assurance that it will stop using user's personal information it collected. "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously", the person said in an emailed statement. And it says that others like Google and Twitter do it too so why single out Facebook on the issue.

"He's either deliberately misunderstanding some of the questions, or he's not clear about what's actually happening inside Facebook's operation", said Daniel Kahn Gillmor, a senior staff technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Last week, the company had revealed that the data of about 87 million users on its platform were harvested without authorisation by Cambridge Analytica (CA).

It will be interesting though to see if this type of "clarification" will satisfy the privacy advocates, following the practices being ruled illegal in Belgium earlier this year.

Gillmor said Facebook could build databases on non-users by combining web browsing history with uploaded contacts.

"So the average for non-Facebook platforms is 1,500", the congressman said.

The ACLU is pushing U.S. lawmakers to enact broad privacy legislation including a requirement for consent prior to data collection. Ben Lujan, a Democrat from New Mexico, asked Zuckerberg, "How many data points does Facebook have on each Facebook user?"

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