Facebook may send its users' personal data to network providers and telephone manufacturers in the hope that they will purchase highly personalized advertisements.
It has also been claimed that Facebook has helped at least one company run its ads to users based on their suspected creditworthiness.
Facebook has repeatedly transmitted anonymous mass user data through its apps to around 100 partner companies in 50 countries, making them & # 39; better business decisions & # 39; made possible for its partners.
Data sharing is one branch of a broader program aimed at improving network connectivity, Facebook reports.
But the & # 39; anonymous & # 39; data collected by Facebook includes an eyebrow-raising amount of personal details – including user demographics, device specifications, personal interests, video usage, and information about your friends.
It is this data that Facebook would have used to actively assist partner companies in targeting advertisements – for example, on specific racial demographics, The Intercept reports.
Documents from The Intercept's Actionable Insights & # 39; project suggest that the program can also be used to select individual customers based on creditworthiness, so that advertisements can be adapted to people with good or bad creditworthiness.
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Facebook may provide user data to network providers and telephone manufacturers to encourage them to purchase better targeted ads from the social media firm (Stock image)
Endorse writer Sam Biddle spoke with an anonymous Facebook source who revealed confidential marketing documents from the & # 39; Actionable Insights & # 39; program.
The data that Facebook allegedly shares includes technical information about user devices and use of Wi-Fi or mobile network, as well as user interests, past locations, and even social groups collected by the Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram apps.
Partners can use the free data to assess their position in relation to competitors and also for more controversial applications such as demographically targeted advertisements.
& # 39; It is precisely this kind of quasi-transactional data access that has become a feature of the Facebook business & # 39 ;, Biddle wrote in his article.
This approach, he said, allows the company to credibly deny that it ever sells your data while still using it for revenue.
On their technical blog, Facebook claim that the Actionable Insights program was developed in accordance with the principles of privacy by design.
These include, they explain, the aggregation and de-identification of user information before it is shared with third parties.
Nevertheless, in one case study by Actionable Insights, it was reported how an unspecified US mobile network provider used the program to target ads to a specific racial demography.
Another reported how Facebook data was used to create & # 39; lookalike audiences & # 39; to try to distinguish between users with good and bad credit ratings.
Facebook is said to have used user data to actively assist partner companies in targeting ads – for example, on specific racial demographics (pictured: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference keynote in California on April 30, 2019 )
WHAT ARE LOOKALIKE AUDIENCES?
A so-called & # 39; lookalike audience & # 39; is a tool in digital marketing.
It helps companies to identify new target customers.
This is done by comparing potential customers with a reference demography.
Such references can be the existing customer base of the company or an idealized new customer.
The approach is often successful because it identifies people who are similar to customers who already use the services of the company or buy their products.
With a good appearance, companies can try to identify their target group on the basis of apparent similarities with a reference demography, such as their existing customer base.
As Facebook itself describes the concepta & # 39; lookalike audience & # 39; is a way to reach new people who are probably interested in your company because they are similar to your best existing customers. & # 39;
However, according to the Intercept, Facebook documents emphasized how a customer was helped to narrow the reach of his Facebook ads based on predicted credit scores.
By generating reference profiles of social media users with high and low credit scores, Facebook data scientists were able to target the ads to users whose profile matched the desired reference profile.
This approach can also be used to exclude certain demographic data from certain advertisements and offers.
However, the extent to which this process can successfully identify demographic data is uncertain.
University of California, Berkeley privacy scientist Chris Hoofnagle told the Intercept that so & # 39; n inscrutable, speculative approach to consumer ratings & # 39; disturbing implications & # 39; has.
& # 39; We're moving to a world where you don't know how to act & # 39 ;, said Professor Hoofnagle.
Contrary to the anonymous source, a Facebook spokesperson told MailOnline that: & We have, nor have we ever, assessed people's creditworthiness for useful insights or advertisements, and Facebook does not use people's credit information in the way where we display ads. & # 39;
FACEBOOK & # 39; S PRIVACY RISK & # 39; S
December 2018: Facebook comes under fire after a company discovered that the company allowed more than 150 companies, including Netflix, Spotify and Bing, to access unprecedented amounts of user data, such as private messages.
Some of these & # 39; partners & # 39; had the ability to read, write and delete personal messages from Facebook users and to see all participants at a discussion.
It also allowed Microsoft & # 39; s search engine, known as Bing, to see the name of all friends of Facebook users without their permission.
Amazon could obtain the names and contact details of users through its friends and Yahoo could view streams of messages from friends.
From last year, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon were all able to obtain email addresses from users through their friends.
September 2018: Facebook revealed that it was hit by the largest ever data breach, affecting 50 million users – including that of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Attackers took advantage of the & # 39; View As & # 39; feature of the site, which allows people to see what their profiles look like for other users.
Facebook says it has found no evidence so far that hackers committed third-party burglaries after a data breach exposed 50 million users (stock image)
The unknown attackers used a function in the code & # 39; Access tokens & # 39; to take over people's accounts, potentially allowing hackers access to private messages, photos & messages – although Facebook said there was no evidence that it was done.
The hackers also attempted to harvest personal information from people, including name, gender and place of birth, via Facebook's systems.
Facebook said it does not yet know if information from the relevant accounts has been misused or has been used and is working with the FBI to investigate further.
However, Mark Zuckerberg assured users that there was no access to passwords and credit card information.
As a result of the infringement, the company removed around 90 million people from their account as a security measure earlier today.
March 2018: Facebook made headlines earlier this year, after data from 87 million users had not been used correctly by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm.
The disclosure has prompted government inquiries about the company's privacy practices around the world, and has sparked a & # 39; # deleteFacebook & # 39; movement among consumers.
The Cambridge Analytica communications company had offices in London, New York, Washington, but also in Brazil and Malaysia.
The company can boast of finding your voters and putting them into action through data-driven campaigns and a team that includes data scientists and behavioral psychologists.
& # 39; In the United States alone, we played a crucial role in winning presidential races and in congress and state elections, & # 39 ;, Cambridge Analytica claims on its website with data on over 230 million US voters.
The company benefited from a feature that meant that apps could request permission to access your own data, as well as the data from all your Facebook friends.
The data group suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix (photo), after shooting him with a series of controversial claims, including the impression that Cambridge Analytica played a crucial role in the election of Donald Trump
This meant that the company could extract the information from 87 million Facebook users, although only 270,000 people gave their permission to do so.
This is designed to help them create software that can predict and influence voters' choices at the polls.
The data product suspended its president, Alexander Nix, after the recordings of him emerged making a series of controversial claims, including that Cambridge Analytica had a pivotal role in Donald Trump's election.
This information is said to have been used to support the Brexit campaign in the UK.
It has also suffered several previous problems.
In 2013, Facebook unveiled a software issue that exposed 6 million phone numbers and email addresses of users to unauthorized viewers for a year, while a technical failure in 2008 revealed confidential birth data on 80 million Facebook user profiles.
The Actionable Insights program, presented primarily to address mobile connectivity issues, was announced by Facebook on a post on the engineering media blog of the social media agency, Code, on August 10, 2018.
& # 39; People connect to Facebook from many parts of the world & # 39 ;, wrote Facebook spokesperson Vincent Gonguet. & # 39;
By analyzing information from sources such as Facebook, population density maps, LiDAR or satellite images, we can help the ecosystem to better understand the connectivity state. & # 39;
& # 39; The Market Insights analysis tools can help manufacturers and operators to define products and services for a specific audience & # 39 ;, Gonguet wrote about the secondary component of the program.
& # 39; Partners can use this to inform their advertising campaigns, including ads on Facebook, & # 39 ;, he added.
According to the Intercept, Facebook claims that Actionable Insights does not collect data from user devices that have not yet been collected.
Instead, the program simply repacks this data, they said.
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