Facebook’s line of defense

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New Delhi | Published: April 2, 2018 10:08:13 PM

Facebook’s decision to ban Cambridge Analytica, after the political consulting and marketing firm accessed and used data of 50 million FB users for political gains without permission, led to a call for regulation of social media companies.

Mark Zuckerberg, facebookThe top executives had chosen to remain quiet even as the shareholder value worth billion took a hit.

Facebook’s decision to ban Cambridge Analytica, after the political consulting and marketing firm accessed and used data of 50 million FB users for political gains without permission, led to a call for regulation of social media companies. However, the company’s chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg chose to remain quiet over the whole controversy. She, however, after the criticism from all quarters escalated, said that she and Zuckerberg should have spoken earlier and that keeping quiet was a mistake. The top executives had chosen to remain quiet even as the shareholder value worth $60 billion took a hit.

Zuckerberg’s post on FB read: “We have a responsibility to protect your data and if we can’t then we do not deserve to serve you. I have been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this does not happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there is more to do, and we need to step up and do it”.

It was back in 2015 that FB learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared data from its app with Cambridge Analytica. “It is against our policies for developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data. They provided these certifications,” added Zuckerberg in his social media post.

FB is also taking steps to investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before it changed its platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014 and will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. It will also ban any developer from its platform that does not agree to a thorough audit.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook and over 37 states are also looking to press charges.

By Ananya Saha

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