Facebook Will Stop Opposing A User Privacy Initiative in California

Didn't Get The Notification? Here's Another Way To Check Whether Your Facebook Data Was Shared With Cambridge Analytica

In his second hearing on Capitol Hill to provide answers following revelations of a massive data privacy breach, Mark Zuckerberg faced tougher questions from US Congress regarding the social media giant's policies.

He also said he was not familiar with what various media reports call "shadow profiles", collections of data assembled on Facebook users that they have no knowledge of or control over.

"In general we collect data on people who are not signed up for Facebook for security purposes", Zuckerberg said. There were dozens of unanswered or follow-up questions that the executive promised his team would respond to later, and some of his talking points aren't likely to hold up to future analysis. The hearings were meant to inform lawmakers of Facebook's approach to data handling and privacy in the wake of recent revelations that political consulting firm Cambridge Anlaytica improperly obtained data on up to 87 million Facebook users from the academic, Aleksandr Kogan. That line nearly worked, until Reps.

An estimated one in 50 Australian Facebook users are thought to have their data leaked.

This lead many to question whether they're the right people to be probing Zuckerberg. For example, Facebook tracks your activity across websites outside the platform, including not just what sites you visit, but whether you've made purchases or shared information with a company-that's how it knows what ads should be targeted to you. Forty-one percent of survey participants would like to gain a better understanding of what data is shared, and another 40 percent would like to be able to exercise the power to decide whether or not to share personal data. Others asked the CEO about Facebook's restriction of a page belonging to pro-Trump vloggers "Diamond and Silk". Such a system might have the potential to block bad posts before they spread, without humans needing to make subjective decisions in individual cases.

Sen. Lindsey Graham pitched a rare hardball question to Zuckerberg Tuesday: Is Facebook a monopoly?




Zuckerberg has earlier said Facebook will ensure that its platform is not misused to influence elections in India and elsewhere. He also said that the firm will be increasing resources to investigate apps and take appropriate actions.

"I'd like to ask before I go into my questioning", Long said during the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday, "what was Facemash, and is it still up and running?".

Luckily for Menlo Park, California-based Facebook, lawmakers aren't aligned on exactly what regulation would look like, or if written laws or rules are even necessary. The statement added that the Messenger apps would now "only upload to our servers the information needed to offer this feature-not broader data such as the time of calls". The 'permissions' for a variety of apps are buried somewhere within Facebook's settings and are turned on by default.

To get there, many Congressmen and Congresswomen have some studying to do.

Criticism about how Facebook handled smartphone device data followed, with concerns that its mobile apps had a disturbing eagerness to upload all of a user's contacts - not to mention tapping into their messaging - to the cloud.

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