Facebook admits to secretly deleting CEO’s texts - Taipei Times
Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Facebook admits to secretly deleting CEO’s texts

AP, New York

Facebook has been secretly deleting some messages chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg sent through its Messenger application, an option that has not been available to most of the social network’s 2.2 billion users.

The company said it has been removing Zuckerberg’s messages from the inboxes of various people for several years.

The recipients of Zuckerberg’s messages were not informed before that happened.

Facebook made the acknowledgment on Friday after TechCrunch first reported the tactic.

Facebook said it began erasing the messages of Zuckerberg and a few other top executives in 2014 after computer hackers obtained and released e-mails from Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc executives.

The Sony messages included disparaging remarks about movie stars and other people in the entertainment industry.

Although the ability to automatically delete sent texts had not been previously available, Facebook said it now plans to make it available to all users.

The company apologized for not doing so sooner.

The development comes as Facebook faces questions about trust in light of one of its worst privacy scandals in its 14-year history.

Meanwhile, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said it should have conducted an audit after learning that a political consultancy improperly accessed user data nearly three years ago.

Sandberg told NBC’s Today show that at the time, the company received legal assurances that Cambridge Analytica had deleted the improperly obtained information.

“What we didn’t do is the next step of an audit and we’re trying to [do] that now,” she said.

The audit of Cambridge Analytica is on hold, in deference to a UK investigation, but Facebook has been conducting a broader review of its own practices and how other third-party apps use data.

In addition, Facebook announced on Friday that it would require advertisers who want to run not just political ads, but also or so called “issue ads’” — which may not endorse specific candidates or parties, but discuss political topics — to be verified.

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