Facebook Backs US Political Ad Bill, Sets Limits on 'Issue Ads'

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is said to hold meetings with some US lawmakers on Monday a day before he is due to appear at Congressional hearings. Jim Watson  AFP

Facebook Backs US Political Ad Bill, Sets Limits on 'Issue Ads'

Facebook revealed on Wed- nesday that an estimated 87 million users around the world had had their personal data harvested by a quiz app downloaded by 305,000 people because of the way the social network allowed apps to access data about their friends.

The legislation would expand existing election law covering television and radio outlets to apply to paid internet and digital advertisements on platforms like Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google. But it is important for people to realize that Facebook is far from alone in the exploitation of user data and bucking the trend may be impossible at this point.

The Information Commissioner's Office has been reviewing the use of data analytics for political purposes since May 2017 and is now investigating 30 organisations, including Facebook, Ms Denham said earlier this month.

Facebook claims the terms update was in the works before the Cambridge Analytica breach that they now believe affected 87m users (up from an estimated 50m) - but they're scrambling to placate users before they #deletefacebook.

In addition, Facebook says it will also require the administrators of pages with a "large number" of followers to verify their identities and addresses. However, this also means that the recipient is aware of the nature of the messages and can react accordingly.

With the current system standing, every message you send is stored on Facebook servers (and scanned by Facebooks bots), and deleting them only deletes it from your chat and device.

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Facebook announced late Friday that it is suspending AggregateIQ, a Canadian data firm, for its alleged ties to SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. People are deleting their accounts, protesting, and spearheading the most active anti-Facebook campaigns ever.

The referendum technology pledge comes after Facebook admitted that nearly 45,000 Irish people were caught up in the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal, which has now affected 87m people in total, more than the 50m that were initially reported.

In February, US Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies with interfering in the election by sowing discord on social media.

Facebook proceeded to apologize for another misstep then announced that it would be making the feature available for everyone.

Zuckerberg will testify before US Congress this week on the leak and what he is doing to protect the information of users. But in other areas, the hurriedness of Facebook to respond to the criticism has resulted in features that may potentially have negative consequences for the users.

Facebook says most of the affected users (more than 70 million) are in the U.S., along with over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the UK.

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