Government slaps notice on Facebook over data leak, seeks specific details

Tim Cook at the March 27 Apple event in Chicago    
   Scott Olson  Getty

Tim Cook at the March 27 Apple event in Chicago Scott Olson Getty

"Call and text history logging is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android".

Facebook is still in crisis mode, looking to fix its huge Cambridge Analytica privacy problem before it can get on to bigger things.

Last week a Houston businessman filed a class action lawsuit in a USA federal court targeting Facebook and Cambridge Analytica seeking $50 billion in damages.

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Facebook's shares were up 1.2 percent at US$154 on Wednesday. "We know these changes are not easy, but we believe these updates will help mitigate any breach of trust with the broader developer ecosystem". Users may now add more layers of protection to their account, like the two-factor authentication; control personal information by reviewing what is shared; control the ads that appear and set ad preferences, and manage who sees a user's posts and profile information. "Imagine hundreds of hours of work, tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment capital, and dozens of clients disappearing at any given moment at the whim of a few lines of code", Troy Osinoff wrote, as he set his status to "thinking about the meaning of life".

For the unversed, Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm with ties to United States President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, is under fire for allegedly gaining access to private information of more than 50 million Facebook users, and influencing elections by using this stolen data.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to testify before Congress, and the Federal Trade Commission is also investigating. Facebook will still provide third-party measurement of the effectiveness of marketers' messages on Facebook, the company said.

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In the first change rolling out in coming weeks, Facebook said it would no longer allow marketers to use information from third-party data brokers such as Acxiom, Epsilon Data Management and Oracle Data Cloud to target users with ads.

Facebook already has vast amounts of data on its users. Similar suits have been launched in other U.S. states, and in the UK Hayes Connor Solicitors, the Liverpool law firm, said that it was preparing a group claim.

The company is also to make it easier for people to remove photographs, posts and other activity they've engaged in on Facebook, to give them more control over what they have posted over the years.

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