Cambridge Analytica was interested in jumping on the crypto bandwagon

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And yet, despite their high-profile apology tour, neither Mark Zuckerberg nor Sheryl Sandberg have answered exactly why and how the incident happened.

Data such as browsing history, for instance, are considered personal data under European Union law, but are not as protected in the U.S., he said.

Why did Cambridge Analytica lie to Facebook?

The FTC's privacy audits are believed to be the strongest - if not the only - enforcement mechanisms that keep the companies in line with the promises they have made.

The uproar was fueled by recent reports that a third party - Cambridge Analytica - had plumbed data from 87 million Facebook users for President Donald Trump's campaign.

The Facebook executives reassured the legislators that the platform has changed since the breach buyers, with Sherman saying it has restricted access to information and changed its policies. For decades, human relations departments and popular magazines have urged Americans to yield private details, and harness the power of aggregate data, to better understand themselves. There are hundreds of thousands of analytics firms around the world.

"There were any number of claims that could have been pursued by the FTC prior to Cambridge Analytica", Rotenberg tells MediaPost. "It's as valuable as oil today".

Facebook's laissez-faire attitude toward privacy protection is not just a betrayal and insult to its user base, but it is compounded by its lack of vigilance to protect one of the platform's most vulnerable user demographics - African Americans. This data was then fed into predictive models built by data scientists to forecast what the target audience would be interested in, whether it be for a commercial product or a political message. Little did users know that the app would not only define their personality traits but also snatch their and their Facebook friends' personal data without asking.

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The notification also has a link to other apps that users have shared information with when they log into Facebook.

"Facebook has done a credit to the entire industry because they brought this back out into the public spotlight", Howe said.

Facebook's latest update, while by no means sufficient in tackling this two layered problem, gives users the option of tracking down the source of any shared item as well as screening any news link for credibility with the touch of a button.

I should emphasise that the Kogan/GSR datasets and questionnaires were not the only Facebook-connected questionnaires and datasets which Cambridge Analytica used.

Another bill is the Balancing the Rights Of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (BROWSER) Act, set to prohibit the sharing of sensitive personal data of users by Facebook and other tech companies.

A few months later, Facebook learned about Cambridge Analytica's unauthorized possession of its data and demanded that the firm destroy it.

But Facebook prohibits this kind of data to be sold or transferred "to any ad network, data broker or other advertising or monetization-related service". The company is embarking on a forensic audit of all the data that was caught up in the exposure, he said.

Companies that buy and sell consumer data are preparing for increased scrutiny from USA lawmakers after a scandal over how social network Facebook handles personal information, Acxiom Corp's chief executive said on Friday.

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