Facebook officials head to Europe to respond to data scandal

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Facebook said it will require advertisers who want to run either political ads or so-called issue ads - which may not endorse a specific candidate or party but which discuss political topics - to verify themselves.

Facebook has announced a few more policy changes to limit the impact bad actors can have on upcoming elections in the USA and around the world. Any advertiser who doesn't pass will be prohibited from running political or issue ads. The issue ads requirement is new.

The social media giant informed the Indian government on Thursday about the details of compromised accounts in response to a notice over the user data breach and details of the steps Facebook was taking to ensure safety and prevent misuse of personal data, reports IANS.

The moves are meant to clamp down on fake pages and accounts such as those used to disrupt the 2016 presidential elections in the USA and elsewhere.

"At no time did Facebook agree to Cambridge Analytica's use of any Facebook user data that may have been collected by this app, including with respect to users located in India", the spokesperson added.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is planing a call with the EU's justice commissioner, while the company's top technology officer is expected to appear before a United Kingdom parliament committee and its deputy privacy chief will head to Italy. Neither can they opt entirely out of Facebook's data collection.

In addition, 87 million users whose data might have been shared with Cambridge Analytica will get a more detailed message informing them of that fact.

Facebook has revealed more than 300,000 Australians may have had their private data used without their knowledge.

RELATEDFacebook 87M affected by Cambridge Analytica breach
RELATEDFacebook 87M affected by Cambridge Analytica breach

Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook should have conducted an audit after learning that a political consultancy improperly accessed user data almost three years ago.

"We continue to investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform in 2014 to reduce data access and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity", the spokesperson said.

The company is facing a global backlash over the improper data-sharing scandal.

Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear on Tuesday before a joint hearing of two U.S. Senate committees, and on Wednesday before a U.S. House committee.

Facebook officials will be traveling - or at least making phone calls - to Europe to respond to concerns that the data of as many as 2.7 million people in the European Union might have been shared with a consulting firm that worked on Donald Trump's USA presidential campaign.

Facebook disclosed in September that Russians under fake names had used the social network to try to influence USA voters in the months before and after the 2016 election, writing about inflammatory subjects, setting up events and buying ads.

Civil society and rights groups in Myanmar say Facebook has failed to adequately act against online hate speech that incites violence against the country's Muslim minority. On a related note, it was earlier reported that the social media platform had retracted Facebook messages sent by its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and a few other executives from their recipients' inboxes. For one, Facebook executives took almost five days to respond to the Cambridge Analytica reports.

The chief of Italy's Competition Authority said Friday the watchdog has also opened an investigation on Facebook's potential unfair practices.

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