Facebook tries to quell data concerns

The Verge

Facebook is instituting more changes - including more stringent rules for issue ads - as steps to thwart election interference.

"This will make it much harder for people to administer a Page using a fake account, which is strictly against our policies", the company said.

A copy of the funding agreement, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, says the project's objective was to create tools to help political campaigns accurately predict voter turnout, the likelihood of support for a specific candidate and the effectiveness of a given campaign communications strategy.

Zuckerberg said on Friday that he also wanted to shed more light on "issue ads", or ads that discuss a political subject but do not directly relate to an election or a candidacy.

Every advertiser who wants to run an issue ad will need to confirm their identity and location, Zuckerberg wrote. Users, on the other hand, will be able to see all the advertisements a page is running and get access to a searchable archive for political ads.

That legislation was introduced last October to counter concerns about foreign nationals using social media to influence American politics, an issue being looked at as part of an investigation into possible Russian meddling during the 2016 USA presidential campaign. But what happened at the shadowy political consulting firm is largely about Facebook's past.

Facebook said 85,893 South Korean users may have been inadvertently impacted by the leak scandal. Next to it we will show "paid for by" information. "We should have done this sooner - and we're sorry that we did not", reads a statement by Facebook's spokesperson, cited by the media.

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After facing mammoth controversy over its users' data breach via British political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, the Facebook CEO is expected to testify in front of two Congressional committees next week.

"When we received word that this researcher gave the data to Cambridge Analytica, they assured us it was deleted", she said.

Sandberg was asked by NBC television's "Today Show" if other cases of user data misuse could be expected.

Wigand said that European Union data protection authorities will discuss over the coming days "a strong coordinated approach" on how to deal with the Facebook investigation. Recall that it took special efforts, for example, for Egyptian organizer Wael Ghonim to regain control of his "We are All Khaled Said" Facebook page back in the weeks just before the January 25 revolution. "We made mistakes and I own them and they are on me", she told the FT. "We didn't. Now we've learned".

The ensuing backlash should serve as a reminder that companies unable to safeguard private information will face consequences, such as the growing movement among businesses and individuals to delete Facebook, Kannan said.

For example, Facebook said in a post that it was ending a feature that had permitted someone to enter another person's phone number or email address into a Facebook search to find a friend or colleague.

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