Fallout from Facebook data breach to continue for years, local experts say

Lorie Shaull

Lorie Shaull

He was confident. He capably tackled numerous queries proposed last week by Bloomberg columnists. Currently, Facebook earns more than $1 billion per quarter in advertising revenue.

With Facebook under the microscope, Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook did not seem keen to the idea of changing the social media site's business model.

All told, the company has spent about $20 million on Zuckerberg's security and travel on private planes since 2015. But it's a loss for the rest of us.

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Social media platforms should build awareness regarding security precautions and information disclosure to encourage users to take more care about revealing their personal information in their profiles.

Facebook admitted in 2011 (when it had "just" 750 million users) that more than 600,000 of its accounts were compromised daily. Two days of testimony didn't change his mind. Revelations about Facebook's role in the exploitation of user data by a company called Cambridge Analytica to support the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, as well as the outcome of the Brexit vote - the referendum leading the United Kingdom to leave the European Union - have provoked widespread calls for tough, new data privacy laws. Graham cut that line of answering short by pressing his line of questioning to urge Zuckerberg to list a single competitor when it comes to its main service. The company can also track people almost everywhere they go online, and it can see what apps people have installed on their phones.

Since then, however, one Republican ad consultant says he has gotten around the clampdown by simply placing Facebook ads that direct users to sign petitions on sites outside the social network. He also noted Zuckerberg's total security costs are presumably much higher for business-related events that occur during business hours, which don't have to be disclosed in the compensation table.

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The applications that are run through Facebook may seem like harmless fun, but tens of thousands of apps are being investigated for data misuse, as reported by New Scientist.

The response from Facebook stated it doesn't allow ads that contain "shocking, disrespectful or sensational content, including ads that depict violence or threats of violence".

But last week, when he was testifying before both houses of Congress because of the seriousness of the situation, the human face of Facebook didn't anticipate that senators and congressmen would have questions about his company complying with an FTC order from 2011 regarding Facebook user privacy. Ben Luján that the social media giant is harvesting "data of people who have not signed up for Facebook" for security reasons. I am not saying that Mark Zuckerberg and his cohort intentionally designed a scheme to trick users into handing over tons of personal data for the purposes of ad targeting.

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But the company cautions users that disabling this feature may lead deletion of posts, photos and videos on Facebook that the connected apps and websites have published. But he added: "While Facebook has certainly grown, I worry it has not matured". And that means the consent of Facebook users is not informed. As of 2016, we produced as much information in 10 minutes as did the first 10,000 generations of human beings. Blumenthal, the Democrat from CT, asked to flip that around, and force Facebook to explicitly ask permission for whatever pieces of personal information it wanted to harvest and use, and explain why.

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