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FB’s Data Privacy Breach Was Intentional, Say UK Legislators

Facebook was accused of violating competition laws and data privacy by UK lawmakers who also added that by not appearing before them, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed ‘contempt’ towards the parliament. The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of UK reported on Monday that reviewing many internal FB emails showed how the social media platform had ‘knowingly and intentionally’ violated both competition and data privacy laws.

The documents re-analyzed included correspondence between company executives and Zuckerberg after Six4Three, a small app company, filed a lawsuit against FB in California. For transferring data to app developers, Facebook showed willingness toward overriding privacy settings of its users. The company was also accused of ‘starving’ some data developers and eventually forcing them out of business. The social media giant was even referred to as a ‘digital gangster’. Facebook denied all allegations as was evident from statement made by its public policy manager, Karim Palant. This problem is an addition to the pile of issues Zuckerberg’s company is already facing, including being under intense scrutiny from US policymakers for the series of data scandals like Cambridge Analytica.

For combating the problems, UK legislators laid out certain regulations like subjecting social media platforms to a mandatory ethics code, monitoring tech firms and launching legal proceedings against them, comprehensive auditing of social media ad market, checking if FB and other social media platforms are involved in anti-competitive practices and examining recent elections for proof of voter manipulation.

The 100-page-long report states that big tech firms shouldn’t be allowed exponential expansion. It criticizes FB and Zuckerberg harshly for their lack of transparency and Damian Collins points out the irresponsible nature of FB CEO. Palant defended the company by saying that heavy investments have been made in computer vision technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning and strength of team working on detecting and protecting users from bad content have been significantly increased to prevent abuse of any kind.