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Facebook's FTC-authorised audit missed Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook's FTC-authorised audit missed Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook had struck a deal with the FTC in 2011 after an investigation into the social media company's privacy practices.

The new privacy page will reportedly allow users to review and delete data that they've shared with third-party apps or websites, including Facebook posts and online search queries.

Details: The Wall Street Journal reports that a PricewaterhouseCoopers audit-which was required for the social network to comply with a 2011 settlement made with the Federal Trade Commission-was finished a year ago. Since the external auditor didn't catch wind of the issue, it might not have asked the right questions to coax it out of Facebook, which obviously didn't volunteer the info. The company failed to identify the unauthorized data collection that was ongoing when submitting the Freedom of Information Act request to the FTC. The app collected users' info in 2014 when Facebook still allowed the practice, but the social network changed its rules to prohibit third-party applications from harvesting data within the same year. A former employee of Cambridge Analytica, a Trump-affiliated data-mining firm, says it used algorithms that "took fake news to the next level" using data inappropriately obtained from Facebook. The Senator wants stronger oversight to make sure user information is protected and not exploited by any means.

"We remain strongly committed to protecting people's information, said Rob Sherman, Facebook's deputy chief privacy officer, in a statement". While Facebook did have controls in place that allowed people to restrict such access, they are found buried in the site's settings and are hard to find. Facebook found out about the Cambridge Analytica data breach in late 2015.

Facebook has been under scrutiny from lawmakers across the world since disclosing that the personal information of 87 million Facebook users wrongly ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a Britain-based firm hired by Donald Trump for his 2016 US presidential election campaign. The social media company made it clear that it would like to respond to the Federal Trade Commission with any questions the organization may have about the scandal.

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