• May 23, 2022

Facebook’s Reason for Banning Researchers Doesn’t Hold Up

When Facebook said Tuesday that it was suspending the accounts of a team of NYU researchers, it made it seem like the company’s hands were tied. The team had been crowdsourcing data on political ad targeting via a browser extension, something Facebook had repeatedly warned them was not allowed.

“For months, we’ve attempted to work with New York University to provide three of their researchers the precise access they’ve asked for in a privacy-protected way,” wrote Mike Clark, Facebook’s product management director, in a blog post. “We took these actions to stop unauthorized scraping and protect people’s privacy in line with our privacy program under the FTC Order.”

Clark was referring to the consent decree imposed by the Federal Trade Commission in 2019, along with a $5 billion fine for privacy violations. You can understand the company’s predicament. If researchers want one thing, but a powerful federal regulator requires something else, the regulator is going to win.

Except Facebook wasn’t in that predicament, because the consent decree doesn’t prohibit what the researchers have been doing. Perhaps the company acted not to stay in the government’s good graces but because it doesn’t want the public to learn one of its most closely guarded secrets: who gets shown which ads, and why.

The FTC’s punishment grew out of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In that case, nominally academic researchers got access to Facebook user data, and data about their friends, directly from Facebook. That data infamously ended up in the hands of Cambridge you can find out more
you can look here
you can try here
you can try these out
you can try this out
you could check here
you could look here
you could try here
you could try these out
you could try this out
your domain name
your input here
have a peek at this web-site
have a peek here
Check This Out
this contact form
navigate here
his comment is here
check over here
this content
have a peek at these guys
check my blog
More about the author
click site
navigate to this website
my review here
get redirected here
useful reference
this page
Get More Info
see here
this website
great post to read
my company
imp source
click to read more
find more info
see it here
a fantastic read
find this
read this article
click here now
browse this site
check here
original site
my response
pop over to these guys
my site
dig this
i thought about this
check this link right here now
his explanation
why not try these out
more info here
official site
look at this site
check it out
click for more info
check these guys out
view publisher site
Get More Information
you can try this out
see this
learn this here now
why not find out more
navigate to these guys
see this here
check my site
additional hints
look at this web-site
their explanation
Analytica, which used it to microtarget on behalf of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The NYU project, the Ad Observer, works very differently. Facebook doesn’t give it access to data. Rather, it’s a browser extension. When a user downloads the extension, they agree to send the ads they see, including the information in the “Why am I seeing this ad?” widget, to the researchers. The researchers then infer which political ads are being targeted at which groups of users—data that Facebook doesn’t publicize.

Does that arrangement violate the consent decree? Two sections of the order could conceivably apply. Section 2 requires Facebook to get a user’s consent before sharing their data with someone else. Since the Ad Observer relies on users agreeing to share data, not Facebook itself, that isn’t relevant.

When Facebook shares data with outsiders, it “has certain obligations to police that data-sharing relationship,” says Jonathan Mayer, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton. “But there’s nothing in the order about if a user wants to go off and tell a third party what they saw on Facebook.”

Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesperson, acknowledges that the consent decree didn’t force Facebook to suspend the researchers’ accounts. Rather, he says, Section 7 of the decree requires Facebook to implement a “comprehensive privacy program” that “protects the privacy, confidentiality, and integrity” of user data. It’s Facebook’s privacy program, not the consent decree itself, that prohibits what the Ad Observer team has been doing. Specifically, Osborne says, the researchers repeatedly violated a section of Facebook’s terms of service that provides, “You may not access or collect data from our Products using automated means (without our prior permission).” The blog post announcing the account bans mentions scraping 10 times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.