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Can't protect people's data alone: Facebook
TT Correspondent |  |  27 Jul 2018

Facing an intense public scrutiny over data leaks amid privacy concerns, Facebook has now called for the entire tech industry to come and protect people's data.

According to David Baser, Director of Product Management at Facebook, nearly every day, news comes out from a different company about personal data that got into the wrong hands.

"Even if we're all taking steps to shore up our privacy protections, we won't find the answers in a silo. Companies are connected and our technology ecosystem can't be reversed.

"So we need to work together on standards and best practices to make data portability a reality while also prioritizing people's privacy and security," Baser said in a blog post late on Thursday.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter last week announced that they will join the open source initiative called Data Transfer Project (DTP).

In the early stages at the moment, the Data Transfer Project will help users of one service to use their data to sign up for another service with encryption.

According to Facebook, some of the world's most popular apps have been built on its platform and the flow of information has the potential for abuse.

"Bad actors can gather information from people and use it in ways that they aren't aware of and didn't agree too, like selling personal data to marketers.

"Facebook has clear policies against this, but as we saw with the Cambridge Analytica situation, bad actors are more than willing to ignore these policies in pursuit of their own objectives," Baser said.

Some argue that the best response to Cambridge Analytica would be to lock Facebook down completely so apps can't get access to this kind of information but according to Facebook, limiting people's ability to share information would erase the conveniences they enjoy.

"We need to find the right balance, giving people control over data sharing and preventing abuse without hampering people's experiences or hindering innovation," said Baser.

Facing global backlash over data scandals, Facebook stock nosedived 20 per cent -- wiping over $120 billion off the company's market value in a single day -- after its revenue and user growth in the second quarter of 2018 fell short of investor expectations.

The social media giant reported 2.23 billion monthly active users -- an increase of 11 per cent (year-over-year) which was its slowest growth in more than two years.

    
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27 Jul 2018(IST)  
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