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Facebook has no idea how to manage user data, leaked doc shows

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According to reports, Meta-owned Facebook is unable to account for much of the personal user data under its ownership, including what it is used for and where it is located.

According to the tech website Engadget, privacy engineers on Facebook’s Ad and Business Product team wrote a report last year with the intention of having the company’s leadership read it.

It outlined how Facebook could deal with an increasing number of data usage regulations, such as new privacy laws in India, South Africa, and elsewhere.

The authors of the report described a platform that was frequently unaware of the personal data of its estimated 1.9 billion users, citing an internal report leaked to Motherboard.

The engineers warned that Facebook would have difficulty promising countries how it would treat their citizens’ data.

“We do not have an adequate level of control and explainability over how our systems use data, and thus we can’t confidently make controlled policy changes or external commitments such as ‘we will not use X data for Y purpose,'” the authors were quoted as saying.

“And yet, this is exactly what regulators expect us to do, increasing our risk of mistakes and misrepresentation,” they added.

The report stated that Facebook’s main obstacle to tracking down user data appears to be the company’s lack of “closed-form” systems.

About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

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