Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of under-fire social networking firm Facebook, has finally emerged from his bunker to admit that his company “made mistakes”over sharing users’ data with third parties.
Or rather,Zuckerberg has finally posted something about the Cambridge Analytica affair on his own personal Facebook page.It follows claims that the data analysis company had harvested personal data from 50million Facebook users in a not entirely starightforward manner.
“The goodnews is that the most important actions to prevent this from happenning again today we have already years ago,”Zuckerberg claimed,referring to changes made to Facebook’s developer platform policies in 2014 that stopped app developers from gathering data about friends of people using their apps.
However,before these changes were made four years ago, University academic Aleksandr Kogan-in collaboration with Cambridge Analytica-built an app called ‘This is your digital life’ that paid around 300,000 users to take a personality test and agree to have their data xcollected for academic use.
The app, however,also collected the information of the test-takers’Facebook friends, which led to thye accummulation of data pool “tens of million strong”.
In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared data from his app with Cambridge Analytica,”Zuck admitted.
“We immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data.They provided these certifications.
“Last week, we learned from The Guardian,The New York Times and Channel 4 that the Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as they had certified,”he added.
Zuckerberg went to pledge that, while it has already moved to “prevent bad actors from accessing people’s information”,the social network will be taking further steps to protect user data.
Just like he promised back in 2012 following an investigation by the US Federal Trade Commision.
“First, we will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 20144,and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity,”Zuck says,adding:”We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit”.
Facebook has already blocked Kogan,who claims he’s being “scapegoated’ whistleblower Chris Wylie and,naturally,Cambridge Analytica,despite the firms claims that it’s, er, did nothing wrong.
Zuckerberg continues:”We will restrict developers’data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse.For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in three months.
“We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in—to only your name,profile,photo,and email address.”
Zuckerberg went on to promise that the company will be more transparent over data usage, and will show remaining Facebook users “a tool at the top of your News Feed with the apps you’ve used and an easy way to revoke those apps’permissions to your data”.
Or could just delete your account and be done with.That’s exactly what Brian Action,the co-founder of Whatsapp made a billionaire by Facebook’s $19billion acquisition of his company,has recommended if you want to put a stop,once and for all, to Facebook’s rapacious data slurping.
In other news, this 2009 BBC interview with baby-faced Mark Zuckerberg has also been doing the rounds.
©Wordsmith Scribe 2018.
©Fadeyi Felix Femi.