It cost Facebook $22 million to keep Mark Zuckerberg safe previous year

Mae Love
April 18, 2019

Privacy is a big deal on the internet, but newly released information shows Facebook executives wanted to figure out how to tap information about people and use it as leverage with other companies.

It isn't exactly unusual for companies these days to share user data with collaborating partners, but in this case, Facebook had access to troves of sensitive data that many other companies don't possess.

The report found that Facebook would also withhold access to data for rival companies, including MessageMe, an app that was gaining popularity and could pose a threat to Facebook Messenger.

The leaked evidence, covering the period of 2011-12015, is said to reveal Facebook's approach to users' data, contradictory to its public statements on data security and sharing with third parties. However, he said that access to Facebook data should be contingent on the developers sharing all of the "social content" generated by their apps back to Facebook, something Zuckerberg calls "full reciprocity". Amazon also partnered with Facebook on the launch of its Fire smartphone. In the documents, it was rather considered "a public relations strategy to soften the blow of the sweeping changes to developers' access to user data".

The documents in the possession of NBC News were anonymously leaked to British investigative journalist Duncan Campbell, who shared them with NBC News, Computer Weekly and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

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'Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections, ' with data on more than 230 million American voters, Cambridge Analytica claims on its website. In comparison, when a messaging app became popular and threatened Facebook's own messenger app, Facebook discussed cutting off the app's access to user data according to the documents. But in some ways, the most interesting parts are the new details about what happened between the Instagram co-founders and the Facebook CEO.

Facebook's history of securing its users privacy is far from pristine.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Facebook dramatically increased spending on security for CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his family, TechCrunch reported.

Another proposal that will be voted on would force Zuckerberg out and appoint an independent chairman to help lead Facebook after several major scandals this year have put the company in an increasingly negative light.

This isn't the first time voting members of Facebook have challenged Zuckerberg's control over the company but this challenge to Zuckerberg's authority comes after a brutal year for Facebook.

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