While Facebook is facing widespread condemnation for the data theft that it allowed from its site, the online social networking facility is ostensibly taking a slew of steps to protect users’ information.
“We understand the importance of keeping your data safe,” Facebook is messaging these days. Now it informs that it has banned the app “This Is Your Digital Life,” which expected you to use Facebook to log into.
Facebook says it did this because the app may have misused some of your Facebook information by sharing it with a British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica (CA). In most cases, the information was limited to public profile, Page likes, birthday, and current city.
“There is more work to do, but we are committed to confronting abuse and to putting you in control of your privacy,” Facebook promises.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly apologized for the mistakes his company makes in handling user data with the promise to take tougher steps to avoid data breach in future.
Zuckerberg explained his company’s position to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. He took personal responsibility for the leak of confidential data of about 87 millions users, and assured that his company will ensure that the upcoming elections in India and other countries are safe.
Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook constantly struggles to protect the social media site from Russian manipulation that is aimed to influence elections in the U.S. and elsewhere.
But except for his apology, he did not offer any argument on how Russians and others used Facebook for stealing user data – and the data theft may be happening even now.
Meanwhile, Facebook has launched something called Data Abuse Bounty to reward people who report any misuse of data by app developers. While Facebook says it is among the company’s efforts to more quickly uncover potential abuse of people’s information, the launch of this service is a kind of damage-control exercise which may not be enough to protect users’ data.
While Facebook is promising to protect your data, a new case has already surfaced in New Zealand where the users downloaded an app on Facebook and that could have exposed users to the data mining tactics of Cambridge Analytica.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. Besides working at senior editorial positions with leading media companies, he was writing an exclusive edit-page tech business column (named Technophile) regularly for The Financial Express (a daily business newspaper of The Indian Express Group).
Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development.
He also runs a free Education and Career Counselling Center for deserving children at a poor J.J. Colony in Dwarka under his NGO – RMN Foundation.