Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Menlo Park, CA, United States (4E) – Bad had turned to worse for beleaguered Facebook, Inc, which now reluctantly admits that up to 87 million people — and not 50 million as it claimed last month — were victimized by Cambridge Analytica.
“In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the US — may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,” revealed Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer. Schroepfer hid this admission at the end of a lengthy blog post detailing the steps Facebook is taking to prevent similar data thefts in the future.
The raging firestorm engulfing Facebook was kindled by Cambridge Analytica, a British firm that helped elect Donald Trump president in 2016. Cambridge Analytica was able to buy data on Facebook users in 2015 to use for micro-targing political advertising without Facebook’s knowledge or consent. The data was gathered via a third party survey app running on Facebook’s platform.
Facebook now clearly has a habit of saying things aren’t as bad as they seem, and only admitting things are actually far worse once painted into a corner. In 2017, Facebook first said 10 million people followed the Internet Research Agency, a unit of the Russian government that blatantly meddled in the U.S. presidential campaign of 2016. It then revised the number to 126 million before revising it once again to 146 million. The Cambridge Analytica disaster now follows a similar pattern.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify about Facebook’s incompetence before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) confirmed it’s investigating Facebook and its weak privacy protections following a data misuse scandal in which Facebook failed to protect the data of 87 million users against Cambridge Analytica. If proven guilty, Facebook could face fines in excess of $2 trillion, a staggering penalty that could spell doom for the company.
The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said the commission is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers. Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises, including compliance with Privacy Shield, or that engage in unfair acts causing substantial injury to consumers in violation of the FTC Act.
Article – All Rights Reserved.
Provided by FeedSyndicate