Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

EU says Facebook confirmed data of 2.7M Europeans 'improperly shared'

EU says Facebook confirmed data of 2.7M Europeans 'improperly shared'

The social media giant, however, did not reveal the identity or locations of these 335 users.

But Facebook told TechCrunch it has not finalised exactly how the "unsend" feature will work.

Three sources had confirmed to TechCrunch that old Facebook messages they had received from Zuckerberg had disappeared from their Facebook inbox, while their own replies to the co-founder had conspicuously remained.

Facebook has been secretly deleting some messages CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent through its Messenger application, an option that hasn't been available to most of the social network's 2.2 billion users. Facebook's subsidiary and instant messaging platform WhatsApp rolled out a similar feature called "Delete for everyone" in November 2017.

Facebook newsfeed changes April 2018
EU says Facebook confirmed data of 2.7M Europeans 'improperly shared'

For the first time, it has also backed proposed legislation requiring social media sites to disclose the identities of buyers of online political campaign ads.

In addition, Facebook announced on Friday that it will require advertisers who want to run not just political ads, but also or so called "issue ads" -which may not endorse specific candidates or parties but discuss political topics- to be verified.

Advertisers that don't pass muster will be banned from running political ads until they can be authorised. Starting in the United States, advertisers who wish to run political ads will need to confirm their identity and locations - this will expand to other countries in the months to come. It has not specified what number of followers would trigger the requirement.

"We continue to investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform in 2014 to reduce data access and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity", the spokesperson said.

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"Election interference is a problem that's bigger than any one platform, and that's why we support the Honest Ads Act", Mr Zuckerberg wrote in his post.

The company disclosed in September that Russians using fake names had used the social network to try to influence U.S. voters in the months before and after the 2016 election.

That legislation is aimed at countering concerns about foreign nationals using social media to influence American politics, which is part of the investigation into possible Russian meddling during the 2016 United States presidential campaign.

Sandberg also told NBC that if users were able to opt out of being shown ads, "at the highest level, that would be a paid product".

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The response comes after Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer in a blog post showed country-specific break-up of people affected by the data breach, saying information of up to 87 million people, mostly in the United States, may have been "improperly" shared with the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. It will have a link to information on which Facebook apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps.

Facebook users can opt out of seeing targeted ads, but can't shut off ads altogether.

"Cambridge Analytica's acquisition of Facebook data through the app developed by Dr Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research Limited (GSR) happened without our authorisation and was an explicit violation of our Platform policies", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

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