New Facebook revelations over user privacy deepen crisis and invite scrutiny

Delia Walker
April 9, 2018

Ultimately, Facebook cannot shy away from the criticism over the way the company manages their data, even as the company looks to shy away from controversy.

Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, has continued the company's apology tour over its data scandal, acknowledging that Facebook knew Cambridge Analytica had mishandled users' data 2 1/2 years ago but saying the company failed to follow up when the consulting firm said the data had been deleted.

So far, those steps have included a public apology from CEO Mark Zuckerburg and several promises to roll out additional privacy-oriented features over time.

"Facebook never publicly disclosed the removal of messages from users' inboxes, nor privately informed the recipients".

The information about this novelty comes hot on the heels of disclosure, as Facebook had deleted Mark Zuckerberg's messages from his recipients' inboxes. In the latest version of its data policy, Facebook declares that it will no longer share users' information with data brokers, and that it is being ultra-clear about who will get data and where it will go.

But it emerged this week that as many as 44,000 people in Ireland could have had their data improperly accessed. Legislators and policy makers are now calling for greater regulation of social media, which has helped knock nearly $US100 billion off the company's market value in the past three weeks. "And that was a huge mistake, and it was my mistake", Zuckerberg is heard telling a group of reporters.

"We will now be making a broader delete message feature available [yet] this may take some time", a company spokesperson said.

"We will be able to uncover a large amount of bad activity that exists".

The social networking site Facebook will soon take a damage control move in respect to the massive data leak by the United Kingdom based analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

Zuckerberg defended the business model on Wednesday.

She continued: "We thought it had been deleted because they gave us assurances, and it wasn't until other people told us it wasn't true, but ... we had legal assurances from them that they deleted".

Sandberg gave several interviews this week as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before Congress next week, where the issue of elections meddling is nearly certain to come up.

Zuckerberg also said he should remain at the helm. Facebook could keep doing this business, but it didn't take much for the negative PR appearances to outweigh its need; Facebook could simply drop it. "It's Facebook's responsibility to manage their platform, but it's also the responsibility of governments to ensure companies protect data and to regulate monopolies".

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