Facebook CEO Zuckerberg May Have Known Of Questionable Privacy Practices Emails Show ##HOT##
Facebook has faced a number of privacy concerns; for instance, in August 2019, it was revealed that the company had enlisted contractors to generate transcripts of users' audio chats. The contractors were tasked with re-transcribing the conversations in order to gauge the accuracy of the automatic transcription tool. In part these concerns stem from the company's revenue model that involves selling information about its users, and the loss of privacy this could entail. In addition, employers and other organizations and individuals have been known to use Facebook data for their own purposes. As a result peoples' identities have sometimes been revealed without their permission. In response, pressure groups and governments have increasingly asserted the users' right to privacy and to control their personal data.
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg may have known of questionable privacy practices emails show
In May 2011, emails were sent to journalists and bloggers making critical allegations about Google's privacy policies; however, it was later discovered that the anti-Google campaign, conducted by PR giant Burson-Marsteller, was paid for by Facebook in what CNN referred to as "a new level skullduggery" and which Daily Beast called a "clumsy smear". While taking responsibility for the campaign, Burson-Marsteller said it should not have agreed to keep its client's (Facebook's) identity a secret. "Whatever the rationale, this was not at all standard operating procedure and is against our policies, and the assignment on those terms should have been declined", it said.
In June 2012, Facebook removed all existing email addresses from user profiles, and added a new @facebook.com email address. Facebook claimed this was part of adding a "new setting that gives people the choice to decide which addresses they want to show on their timelines". However, this setting was redundant to the existing "Only Me" privacy setting which was already available to hide addresses from timelines. Users complained the change was unnecessary, they did not want an @facebook.com email address, and they did not receive adequate notification their profiles had been changed. The change in email address was synchronized to phones due to a software bug, causing existing email addresses details to be deleted. The facebook.com email service was retired in February 2014.
Facebook Inc. uncovered emails that seem to show Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg was aware of potentially problematic privacy practices at the company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Internal Facebook emails shared with government regulators show CEO Mark Zuckerberg questioning some of the company's privacy practices, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that cited anonymous sources.
While the emails in question do not appear to show Zuckerberg advocating anything that would clearly violate the company's protections of user privacy, the discussions see the CEO debating the propriety of certain actions in a way that could feed negative perceptions about the company's attitude toward privacy, according to the report.
The emails are part of Facebook's efforts to provide information to the Federal Trade Commission as the agency investigates whether Facebook has complied with a 2012 consent decree over the social network's privacy practices.
The internal emails appear to show Zuckerberg discussing how to deal with certain issues affecting user privacy in light of the 2012 consent decree, the report said. It was not clear whether any of those discussions revealed practices that violated the agreement with the FTC, according to The Journal, which said it was briefed on the contents of some of the emails but had not itself reviewed them.