Published: Wed, March 28, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

FTC to Investigate Facebook Over Privacy Practices

FTC to Investigate Facebook Over Privacy Practices

The website Ars Technica reported users who checked data gathered by Facebook on them found that it had years of contact names, telephone numbers, call lengths and text messages.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg apologised to Britons on Sunday over a "breach of trust", taking out full page advertisements in British newspapers after a political consultancy got its hands on data on 50 million users.

There have been allegations that the information was used to help Donald Trump win the 2016 USA election.

The company also faces rising discontent from advertisers and users.

A survey by Angus Reid Institute suggests 73 per cent of Canadian Facebook users say they will make changes, while 27 per cent say it will be "business as usual".

Opinion polls published on Sunday in the United States and Germany cast doubt over the trust people have in Facebook as the firm ran advertisements in British and USA newspapers apologizing to users.

Among other things, Facebook had told users that third-party apps on its site wouldn't be able to access their data. Its CEO, Alexander Nix, said in undercover footage that the company was responsible for much of the Trump campaign's activity. "We try to limit what our applications actually utilise on the phones", he said.

Users who logged in to Facebook to delete their profiles after the privacy scandal discovered that Facebook stores data and complete logs of all incoming and outgoing calls from a users phone as well as store data of all SMS messages, according to a report in The Guardian.

Facebook specified that it does not collect the content of calls or text messages and information is securely stored.

As scores of people delete their accounts in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, many are discovering that the social network has been accessing a whole lot of data that they really shouldn't have touched.

The hashtag #DeleteFacebook has trended online and many users have chosen to download copies of their Facebook data to better understand what information the social network has collected about them.

In its response, Facebook said, "The most important part of apps and services that help you make connections is to make it easy to find the people you want to connect with".

"During our time leading the Commerce Committee, several questions about Facebook's responsibilities and obligations to users have arisen even as the company's reach and importance have grown".

Zuckerberg explained there was a quiz developed by a university researcher "that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014".

"Facebook admitted abuses and excesses in the past and gave assurances that measures since taken mean they can't happen again", she said. It's also investigating every app that had access to large amounts of data.

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