Nov 6, 2019

Facebook: 100 developers may have improperly accessed users' data

Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook said in a blog post Tuesday that "roughly 100" software developers may have improperly accessed users' data, including the names and profile photos of people in specific groups on the social network.

Why it matters: Per Axios' chief technology correspondent Ina Fried, it's been clear for a while that the company’s issues with third parties go beyond Cambridge Analytica. This disclosure gives an indication of just how far.

Although we’ve seen no evidence of abuse, we will ask them to delete any member data they may have retained and we will conduct audits to confirm that it has been deleted."
— Facebook statement

The big picture: Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Trump’s 2016 campaign, announced in May it had filed for bankruptcy and that it would close its operations following revelations that it misused Facebook data to build a system to predict and influence election choices.

  • Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook "locked down the Groups application programming interface (API)," introduced rules requiring developers to obtain Facebook's consent before using the platform and included new security features in a July system relaunch, The Verge notes.
  • Facebook said it found in a review that "some apps retained access to group member information ... in connection with group activity, from the Groups API."

Go deeper: Facebook drowning in controversy ahead of mega-hearings

Go deeper

Facebook debuts payment system, taking on Venmo

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook on Tuesday announced Facebook Pay, an online payment system that will allow users across its services to send payments to one another. The new product, separate from its Libra cryptocurrency effort, puts the social network giant in competition with Venmo and others.

Why it matters: Once again, Facebook will be asking users to hand over more sensitive information when it is under fire for how it manages the information and access it already has.

Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019

Facebook's plan to keep growing bigger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While content companies are pushing to diversify their businesses with subscriptions and licensing, and big tech companies draw on income from hardware sales and software sales and subscriptions, Facebook is sticking with advertising at scale for the foreseeable future.

Why it matters: Facebook created its massive business by handing out a free social network and monetizing it through ads. As it expands into other businesses like commerce, payments, and hardware, it's mostly sticking with that formula — convinced that "free and ad-supported" remains the best route to achieve massive scale and to deliver on its mission of connecting the world. 

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

Zuckerberg doubles down in CBS interview on Facebook false ads policy

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg attend the Nov. 3 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg remained defiant in a "CBS This Morning" interview airing Monday on the social media giant posting political ads containing false information.

The big picture: Per Axios' Scott Rosenberg, Facebook's policy lets politicians make virtually any claim they want, in ads or posts, including repeating verbatim a false claim that has already been labeled elsewhere as false.

What they're saying: In CBS host Gayle King's interview with Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan, the Facebook co-founder said, "I don't think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news."

  • Watch the clip below:

Go deeper: