Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for his company’s role in allowing user data to be harvested by data firm Cambridge Analytica, which delivered ads targeted to influence the 2016 US presidential elections and the UK Brexit vote. His interviews were too little too late and some users have since disabled or deleted their accounts. A poll conducted by Reuters Sunday found that just 41% of people trust Facebook with their personal information as opposed to Amazon’s trust rating of 66% and Google’s trust rating of 62%. (People trust Amazon more than Google? I guess Amazon has less of our data.)
Facebook took out a full page ad in multiple newspapers Sunday apologizing for the data breach. Here’s a photo of the ad, tweeted by The Guardian’s Carole Cadwalladr who called out Zuckerberg for not speaking with them. The Guardian helped break this story by publishing interviews with two whistleblowers connected to Cambridge Analytica, so it’s significant that Zuckerberg refused to talk to them.
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) March 25, 2018
Here’s what the ad said:
We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.
You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
We’ve already stopped apps like this from getting so much information. Now we’re limiting the data apps get when you sign in using Facebook.
We’re also investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before we fixed this. We expect there are others. And when we find them, we will ban them and tell everyone affected.
Finally, we’ll remind you of which apps you’ve given access to your information — so you can shut off the ones you don’t want anymore.
Thank you for believing in this community. I promise to do better for you.
These were Zuckerberg’s talking points during his interviews and they come across much better and more sincere in print. He’s not particularly relatable. I doubt this will do much to restore faith in the service. Their stock has taken a big hit following this scandal and it remains to be seen whether it will recover.
The Federal Trade Commission confirmed on Monday that it has opened a non-public investigation into Facebook. I would assume Facebook had a heads up about this before they issued the apology ads.
As users delete their Facebook accounts, some Android users are finding that Facebook kept log records of their personal phone calls and texts – even when they didn’t have the Facebook app installed. These are phone calls and texts people made outside of Facebook. Apparently this only affects Android phones with specific operating systems prior to 2017. Apple phones do not allow access to this data. Here is a link to Facebook’s statement about this. They claim they only have access to logs, not the actual texts or calls, and that users opted in to this when they installed Messenger. Several people who spoke to Ars Technica say that they did not have Messenger on their phones when this data was collected.
@dylanmckaynz #DeleteFacebook #facebookshit I just downloaded my facebook ZIP and ran your script ., the length of contact info page itself scares me.
It contains all my SMS,MMS,call logs and contacts from Sep 2015 to Dec 2017 pic.twitter.com/rMp3SCc8eK
— pcm mushthaq (@mushthaqpc) March 25, 2018
This Twitter thread focuses more on Google than Facebook. Now I know why people trust Amazon more.
Want to freak yourself out? I'm gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it
— Dylan Curran (@iamdylancurran) March 24, 2018
Photos credit: WENN, Getty and Twitter