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Data firm receives access to millions of Facebook users

Data firm receives access to millions of Facebook users Data firm receives access to millions of Facebook users
Bennie Garza | 07 April, 2018, 05:53

Social media giant Facebook said on Thursday that 5.62 lakh people in India were "potentially affected" by global data leak episode involving UK-based Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook had on Wednesday admitted that data on about 87 million people - mostly in the USA - may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. Facebook has over 20 crore users in the country and the Indian government last month had shot-off notices to both Facebook and Analytica on the data breach issue.

Mark Zuckerberg has admitted the Facebook does scan all images and texts people send to each other through the Messenger app.

It reads: "Cambridge Analytica licensed data for no more than 30 million people from GSR [Global Science Research], as is clearly stated in our contract with the research company". On the other hand, regulatory and user pressure has sometimes led Facebook to pull back on its data collection and use and to explain things in plainer language - in contrast to dense legalese from many other internet companies.

The British company allegedly used the information to support Donald Trump's election campaign.

The disclosures about Canadian Facebook users comes in the wake of one of the biggest data privacy scandals in history.

Facebook has been secretly deleting some messages CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent through its Messenger application, an option that has not been available to most of the social network's 2.2 billion users.

He said: "That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections".

The company told Bloomberg it doesn't use data from scanned messages for advertising.

A Messenger spokeswoman said in a statement: "For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses". "Facebook designed these automated tools so we can rapidly stop abusive behavior on our platform".

Another Twitter user also seemed unconvinced, saying: "I talked about ice cream in a Facebook Messenger chat and now see an ad on Twitter for ice cream". WhatsApp had 1 billion daily users in 2017.

Several users were surprised to learn recently that Facebook had been collecting information about whom they texted or called and for how long, though not the actual contents of text messages. Europe's new privacy standards come into place on May 25.

On Wednesday, Facebook said will delete all logs after a year and in the future, the only information this tool will collect from now on is the data that it needs to operate and "not broader data such as the time of calls".

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