Zuckerberg finally spoke out about Facebook’s debacle with Cambridge Analytica harvesting data, claiming that it had already put preventative measures in place in 2014 to ensure that this wouldn’t happen again. Mozilla disagrees, opting to pull its advertisements from the platform, deeming Facebook to be unclear in its stance regarding the collection of friend data.
Facebook supposedly nixed the ability for third-party applications to collect the data of the consenting party’s friends back in 2014, with the headlining controversy surrounding Cambridge Analytica predating that by a year.
Despite this, Mozilla was unhappy with what it found in the platform’s user-facing tools, claiming that the social media giant was and still is unclear about this change when it comes to the default developer limitations. In turn, it launched a petition to ask Facebook to “change its app permissions and ensure your privacy is protected by default.”
The social media platform reiterated its statement by saying that these changes are already in place, which has caused Mozilla to retract its advertisements on Facebook in protest. It does, however, hint that it might reinvest interest in the platform when Zuckerberg implements his proposed plans to improve the protection of its users.
Interestingly, Mozilla realises that this isn’t a security breach in its petition, stating that “no one hacked into Facebook or stole passwords.” The criticism is directed towards Facebook’s previous design, for allowing this data to be collected by Cambridge University Professor Aleksandr Kogan in such an absurd quantity from people that never consented to it.
Unfortunately for Facebook, there is nothing the platform could have done to prevent Kogan from passing on the data to Cambridge Analytica, which is already in direct violation of the policies it’s always had in place. Since the revelation, the platform has banned both parties and gone on to try and ensure that the collected data is no longer in the hands of Cambridge Analytica.
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KitGuru Says: While some might have sympathy that the platform did patch this flaw in its policies a while back, it should have taken more consideration towards the 50 million users already affected. It was only a matter of time before this came to light and now it seems that the platform is back peddling to make things right.