Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Facebook responds to US Congress' questions

Facebook responds to US Congress' questions

According to the report, the written answers in the document are "flawless" yet some of them are unclear while answering some of the important questions pointed out in the hearing, for example, the response that Facebook targets ads on based of "multicultural affinity" in place of "race".

As revealed by Reuters, the new rules are due to come into force from July 2.

"Our core service involves personalizing all content, features and recommendations that people see on Facebook services", the company said in response to one question from Congress.

A bit bruised after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Facebook is trying to reassure its users. In some cases, Facebook can also gather information about nearby devices or other devices on the user's network. However, the most important question and the one Zuckerberg was most evasive about in his testimonies is "Does Facebook have shadow profiles?"

Private data of thousands of users was exchanged without informing anyone.

Cambridge Analytica ceased operations on May 1. So Facebook is trying to reassure users by introducing more stringent requirements for advertisers. Sandberg reiterated during Facebook's last earnings call that the company is "proud of the ads model we've built' but also that the company wants users to "feel confident that the ads they're seeing are authentic", and promised that Facebook would continuously be building transparency tools to do so". In other words, data that belonged to a user (and his or her friends) now belonged to the device manufacturers as well.

Speaking at Recode's Tuesday, Spiegel was asked how he felt about Facebook's continued copying of Snapchat, he said, "We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also".

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Why it matters: Protecting your privacy online is a hard task, and companies like Facebook are arguably at the center of the issue.

This, of course, raises the stakes dramatically, ever since the story first broke on June 4, 2018. It suggests that China might have been secretly harvesting information about U.S. users for years, and using it for its own surveillance purposes. Yet, they did not specify the names of those companies. We are taking a position on the importance of having the right to use the data and for it to have been sourced responsibly.

"When ad targeting is done well, it provides value to people and businesses".

Facebook didn't address it in its answers, either.

But U.S. lawmakers are not as convinced.

The arrangements with device makers and software bug issue are likely to be examined by the Federal Trade Commission.

RBC Capital Markets and Nissan Motors are just a few of those third parties named by the WSJ's unnamed FB source. But the deals with companies like Apple and Samsung persisted. But, as we are seeing now, nothing could be further from the truth.

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