Maria Therese Agcopra Agcopra – Fourth Estate Contributor
Menlo Park, CA, United States (4E) – The New York Times has released a bombshell on Facebook giving tech titans access to its users’ private messages. The information was obtained through internal Facebook documents from 2017 that show how the company traded its users personal data to its partners like Apple, Microsoft, Spotify and Netflix. Overall, the report reveals over 150 companies are involved.
The data scandal dates back to the April of 2010 when Facebook launched a third party app, Open Graph. This update allowed external developers to reach out to Facebook users and request permission to access their personal data as well as access their Facebook friends’ personal data too.
In 2014, Facebook limited its partner’s data access in a bid to protect the privacy of their users but disregarded to retroactively impose it on the apps that have enjoyed the privilege before.
The next year, it was reported by The Guardian that Cambridge Analytica was helping Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign using Facebook users’ psychological data to influence the 2016 US Presidential elections.
Facebook is no stranger to privacy scandals as it had been the subject causing concern to its users for years and eventually led to its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to issue public apologies and ultimately an appearance at Capitol Hill last April amidst the inquiry on how Cambridge Analytica was given access to almost 87 million Facebook subscribers.
“My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together,” testifies Zuckerberg before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing at Capitol Hill, “Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as I’m running Facebook.”
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