Facebook memo outlines 'ugly truth' behind its mission

03 April, 2018, 05:15 | Author: Simon Thompson
  • It's Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find | Facebook Newsroom

"If you have a Facebook account, we strongly recommend that you delete it completely, without delay". While Bosworth said it was one of his most unpopular employee messages, a former senior executive told BuzzFeed that it was "super popular internally".

The company has faced a global outcry after a whistleblower said that data from millions of users was improperly harvested by consultancy Cambridge Analytica to target US and British voters in close-run elections.

The incident was met with public fury and prompted a series of investigations and hearings from authorities in the U.S., the United Kingdom, the European Union and Canada that would likely result in a hefty fine for the social network operator.

BuzzFeed noted that the memo was written nearly immediately after a man was shot to death while streaming live video of himself with Facebook Live, and a few days before a Palestinian teenager was accused of killing an Israeli girl after praising terrorists on Facebook.

In yet another attempt to safeguard users' data privacy on its platform, Facebook has announced it will no longer allow third-party data for targeting advertisements. Finally, you should create a unique password for your Facebook account, one that's significantly different from the passwords you use to access other sites.

Mr Kogan told the FT that he was "surprised" that he broke Facebook's rules, adding: 'If they really care, then why do they do nothing to enforce it?'

These data brokers have troves of data on credit scores, family status, pet ownership and hobbies, which they glean from surveys, warranty cards, retail loyalty programs and other sources.

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It is a mark of the company's dominance of the social media landscape - Facebook has 2.13 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp 1.5 billion and Instagram 800 million - that finding a single alternative is hard. However, they now do not have mechanisms to ensure that the data they had originally provided remains secure.

Kogan was hired by CA to build a personality test app called "thisismydigitallife", which accessed the Facebook profiles of 280,000 Americans with their consent.

The memo comes to light in the aftermath of Facebook's massive data leak, where political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvest the information of 50 million unwitting users.

Despite the series of efforts, Facebook faced yet another plunge in credibility on Friday after an internal memo suggesting that the firm's leadership prioritized growth over all else, even if it meant overlooking the physical and social risks of the social network. It read: "So we connect more people".

"We do have great products but we still wouldn't be half our size without pushing the envelope on growth", he wrote.

Facebook is facing new questions about its practice of collecting call and text histories from Android devices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. We also need to work to bring people closer together.

"So we connect more people", said Bosworth later in the memo. They're messy to administer, and they can still be gamed by bad actors. Maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies. In the June 18, 2016, memo, by Facebook vice president Andrew "Boz" Bosworth outlined the lengths the company's tools would affect the public all in the name of growing the company - including the possibility that it could lead to someone's death.

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