Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Things We Learned From an Ex-Cambridge Analytica Exec

All of us helped create the data crisis Audit Cleared Facebook's Privacy Practices Despite Cambridge Analytica Leak
Pete Mitchell | 22 April, 2018, 05:54

It said it was "working hard to tackle past abuse, prevent future abuse and give people more prominent privacy controls" and was "committed to providing regular updates to Indonesians, their representatives, the authorities and the media".

Facebook Inc's Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg came under pressure from EU lawmakers on Wednesday to come to Europe and shed light on the data breach involving Cambridge Analytica that affected almost three million Europeans.

Specifically, Cambridge Analytica worked with the Trump campaign, and among the data it misused were pictures, profiles and even direct messages between users.

Scott Howe told Reuters in a phone interview that Acxiom, among the largest USA data brokers, welcomed change and supported regulation of some kind, although he stopped short of endorsing a specific plan or greater powers for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the primary us regulator of data privacy.

But I believe it is nearly certain that the number of Facebook users whose data was compromised through routes similar to that used by Kogan is much greater than 87 million; and that both Cambridge Analytica and other unconnected companies and campaigns were involved in these activities.

The audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers is posted on the FTC's website, though it is heavily redacted.

"In our opinion, Facebook's privacy controls were operating with sufficient effectiveness to provide reasonable assurance to protect the privacy of covered information and that the controls have so operated throughout the Reporting Period, in all material respects for the two years ended February 11, 2017, based upon the Facebook Privacy Program set forth in Management's Assertion".

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In 2011, the FTC investigated the social media giant and determined the company was being deceptive in communications to users about how the company managed user privacy.

The Cambridge Analytica hack is just one of many transgressions by Facebook, in which an apology will simply not suffice. But Facebook didn't inform users about the data transfers until several weeks ago.

EPIC's Rotenberg notes that his organization has long raised concerns about Facebook's privacy practices with the FTC.

Cambridge Analytica also told Reuters of previous explorations with blockchain technology, although this work appears to be on hold in light of recent events.

Last week, Zuckerberg addressed the FTC consent decree during a House hearing.

"We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake", Zuckerberg said. "They must also take proactive steps, including auditing and facilitation independent research, to assess and protect against ad discrimination outside of these contexts".

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