Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Facebook details what it does with data collected from users

Facebook details what it does with data collected from users

"Apps and websites that use our services, such as the Like button or Facebook Analytics, send us information to make their content and ads better", David Baser, Product Management Director at Facebook, wrote in a blog post. As well, users can opt to have their News Feeds display content chronologically instead of in the order of what Facebook predicts they might be most interested in. "I believe people own their content", he told the US Congress.

Last week, the company had revealed that the data of about 87 million users on its platform were harvested without authorisation by Cambridge Analytica (CA). The countries listed were Philippines, UK, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil, Vietnam and Australia.

Baser said ad preferences can also be set to prevent specific advertisers from showing ads on Facebook. "The protection of American elections from foreign interference can not be left to voluntary measures by tech companies", he said.

Nigerians, who want to find out whether their data were shared by with Cambridge Analytica, can look out for a link named "protecting your information" link at the top of their news feed.

"This is because other apps and sites don't know who is using Facebook", he added, noting Facebook was also following up with Congress on a few dozen questions Zuckerberg was unable to answer at the time of the hearings.

Facebook says many other websites and apps use its services to make ads more relevant, including social plugins (the floating Like/Share buttons); using Facebook as a login to their sites/apps; Facebook Analytics; and the company's ads/measurement tools.

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"This in turn stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it.Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetise and advertise removed", it said. Information on browser and operating system is relayed back to the developers to keep them updated about the platform from where it is getting more traction.

The Indian government had also questioned both the companies on the impact of the data breach.

He also claimed that the information received from websites and apps was also used to help protect the security of Facebook.

Baser said Facebook collects information including your computer's IP address, the type of browser you're using to access the internet, the software your computer runs (Android, macOS, Windows, iOS, etc.), and other material.

"Just like the bug bounty program, Facebook will reward based on the impact of each report".

While a series of actions by European judges and regulators are trying to curb some of the powerful targeting mechanisms that Facebook employs, federal officials in the United States have done little to constrain them - to the consternation of American privacy advocates who say Facebook continues to test the boundaries of what is permissible.

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