Facebook cuts ties to data brokers in a blow to targeted ads

Alyssa Bailey
March 30, 2018

Authorities in Britain have meanwhile seized data from Cambridge Analytica in their investigation, and European Union officials have warned of consequences for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg also said last week that users would soon see a tool on the top of their News Feeds that will allow them to quickly revoke the permissions of third-party apps to their data.

The decision is one prong of Facebook's efforts to address mounting concerns about user data privacy after it was revealed that data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed information on 50 million Facebook users without their consent by exploiting a survey app and later used it to boost political campaigns.

The post added that Facebook has also taken the responsibility to communicate how the brand collects and uses the data to its users easily.

Numerous new privacy features are required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), The Independent reports, which is the EU's new data regulator that comes into effect on 25 May.

Other measures Facebook has announced in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal include improvements to its bug bounty program that will incentivise and reward security researchers for hunting down third-party Facebook apps that misuse user data.

Facebook will also create a page that makes it easier for people to download their data so that they can more clearly view what information the company collects about them.

The announcement coincides with a fresh dispute with New Zealand's privacy watchdog, which has accused Facebook of being in breach of local laws.

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Facebook on its part is said to feel "comfortable with the integrity of its data sourcing within the first two categories", but not so much about business with third parties.

"Some people want to delete things they've shared in the past, while others are just curious about the information Facebook has", the company said, with some understatement.

Facebook also said it will propose updates to its terms of service in the coming weeks and update its privacy policy, but it gave no further details.

Tools to find, download and delete Facebook data. "With the GDPR coming into force in a couple of months, data privacy is now high on many organisations' agendas".

Jennifer Grygiel, a Syracuse University professor of communications, said the new privacy settings and tools "are so obviously important to users that one has to wonder why this wasn't already done". Zuckerberg is aware there is intense pressure on him to testify, this person says.

The Social Network™ has paused review of new apps while it makes these changes.

Facebook's move comes as authorities around the globe investigate how Facebook handles and shares private data, and with its shares having tumbled more than 15 percent, wiping out tens of billions in market value.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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