— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) March 20, 2018
Two years and four months after Facebook found out that Cambridge Analytica might have illicitly pulled user data from its platform, and five days after the latest round of stories about the political consultancy’s electioneering, Mark Zuckerberg finally made a statement about the situation.
Despite Facebook previously contesting that it was a “data breach,” Zuckerberg offered up the exact solutions one might to a breach: assurances, small technical fixes, and some procedural improvements. Among other changes, Facebook will investigate apps that pulled in large amounts of its data in the past and ban those who are found to have misused data. The company will also inform people whose data has been misused, including those in the dataset that got passed to Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg introduced a new rule that Facebook will remove developers’ data access to users who haven’t logged in to their apps for three months. And finally, Facebook will place a notice at the top of News Feed, linking people to their app privacy settings.
This is the very minimum that Facebook had to do in this situation. It is impossible to imagine how they could not have taken any of these steps, given the public attention and pressure on the company.
But let’s look at the big questions that the Financial Times raised: “Why did Facebook take so little action when the data leak was discovered? … Who is accountable for the leak? … Why does Facebook accept political advertisements at all? … Should not everyone who cares about civil society simply quit Facebook?”
On every single one of these questions, Zuckerberg offered nothing. [Continue reading…]
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