Facebook scandal a 'game changer' in data privacy regulation

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It's now planning to make a broader delete message feature available to everyone.

As recently as last month, Facebook was engaged in secret talks with hospitals and medical schools seeking to collect data that would allow it to build profiles of people including their medical conditions, Christina Farr reports for CNBC. Data will also be generally limited to user names, profile photos and email, unless the developer signs a contract with Facebook and gets user approval.

When asked about regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, admitted not knowing about whether the internet should be getting the leeway it does regarding advertisement transparency and such policies.

"We all agree, any information we give on Facebook, we give it up", said Tulane Social Media Professor Ashley Nelson.

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Facebook made the announcement as Zuckerberg prepared to appear before Congress next week to answer questions about the harvesting of personal data on 87 million users by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy working for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Against that backdrop, the net-worth of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has tumbled from $71 billion in March 2018 to $62.9 in early April, according to Forbes. Do you think Facebook Messenger will be the same if unsending messages becomes a common feature?

Denham has said that Facebook has been cooperating with her probe, though it's too soon to say whether the social network's planned changes will be enough.

Prior to the most recent revelations, the social network had been coolly defiant about serving as a vehicle for malicious actors to carry out fake news campaigns and clog the newsfeed of its users. Aneesh Chopra, president of a health software company called CareJourney and a former White House CTO, said, "I would be wary of efforts that repurpose user data without explicit consent". "It's very hard for a user to opt out" when they've been a part of the network for years, if not more than a decade, said Crawford. The company's business model operates on the assumption that people who buy the same items and have similar interests - "the same "data points" - likely have similar personalities. But facebook has also damaged the foundations of the internet and has impacted genuine news providers and directed people to specious sites spreading false news while impacting revenues of news providers.

Facebook has been playing fast and loose with its users' private data since it first launched a targeted advertising program.

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"[There are] many misperceptions about what we actually do", he said.

David Carroll, a professor at Parsons School of Design in NY who sued Cambridge Analytica in the United Kingdom, said he was not satisfied with Zuckerberg's response, but acknowledged that "this is just the beginning".

In response, Facebook revealed to Tech Crunch its plans to launch feature to delete sent messages for Facebook users.

Moreover, the feature doesn't really justify how Facebook message service works.

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That was the giant loophole the British researcher legitimately used to access data but then unjustly sold to Cambridge Analytica. The following day, Zuckerberg is set to be grilled by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee at 10 a.m.

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