Facebook has always been involved in some privacy controversy, since the company explicitly has a business model based on selling user data. However, a new leaked document suggests that things there may be much worse than we ever imagined.
The internal document (via Engadget) is a report written by Privacy Engineers from the Facebook Ad team, and it was sent to the company’s leaders. The engineers detail how Facebook could deal with local regulators asking for new privacy measures to protect user data.
However, according to the report, even Facebook engineers agree that the company has no control over how user data is managed internally. The Facebook Ad team warned the social network’s directors that the company would have a hard time promising governments any changes in these aspects.
“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,’” wrote the report’s authors. “And yet, this is exactly what regulators expect us to do, increasing our risk of mistakes and misrepresentation.”
The document reveals that Facebook’s database has “open borders,” so that first-party user data, third-party data, and even sensitive data are all stored together. As a result, controlling a specific piece of this data is not an easy task. Although a Facebook spokesperson denied that the company is not complying with regulators, an anonymous employee described the situation as a “complete shitshow.”
Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta is rebuilding its ad infrastructure to target iOS users. Since the launch of App Tracking Transparency last year, the social network has lost more than $10 billion in revenue. At the same time, Facebook continues to criticize Apple’s privacy policies, which the company claims are “harmful” to both users and businesses.
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