Facebook to clearly label political advertising in Britain, CTO says

27 April, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • Government sends second notice to Facebook, CA; seeks response by May 10

Facebook, which generates revenue primarily by selling advertising personalized to its users, has demonstrated for several quarters how resilient its business model can be as long as users keep coming back to scroll through its News Feed and watch its videos.

Mike Schroepfer faced a five-hour grilling in Westminster as he gave evidence on Facebook's role in the scandal as part of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee inquiry.

Facebook will introduce new measures to improve transparency around adverts in Britain by June this year and require political ads to be clearly labelled, the firm's Chief Technology Officer told a parliamentary committee.

Any ad labelled political will be available for seven years in Facebook's archive, which will allow users to search the amount spent on the ad and the number of views it received.

Schroepfer's confession was later followed by another acknowledgement that the social media giant made a "mistake" by failing to notify U.K.'s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), after it learned that data was shared with Cambridge Analytica.

The companies are involved in investigations into how Facebook data may have been misused to help political campaigns target advertising on social media and whether there was collaboration between Brexit campaign groups.

Additionally, Zuckerberg commented on his testimony in front of Congress, calling it an "important moment" to "answer all the questions about Cambridge Analytica and make sure this doesn't happen again".

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Kogan, who teaches at Cambridge University, told the committee on Tuesday that he did not sell data, and said the USA social media giant was scapegoating him as it was in "PR crisis mode".

Mr Schroepfer said he thought it "unlikely" that Facebook had that level of data about his life.

"The idea that this data is accurate, I would say, is scientifically ridiculous", he said.

"I understand, he has been getting requests from all over the world to come talk about this", Schroepfer said.

It's something we're working very hard on. It will vet and label those ads in time for local elections in May 2019, Schroepfer said.

On Tuesday, April 24th, Mark Zuckerberg sold 290,000 shares of Facebook stock. The list goes on and on, but the lesson is that Facebook was never some online utopia, even when a vast majority of its users weren't abusing it. Facebook said it would quickly address the problem-though it can't retrieve the data that was leaked-while admitting there could be many similarly sized data security problems involving other developers it doesn't yet know about.

He said the company's behaviour was not meant to be interpreted as an attempt to stop the story becoming public, despite letters having been sent to The Guardian in March threatening to sue.

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