Private e-mails may contradict Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to when Facebook learned about the data abuse from Cambridge Analytica.
Social media giant and Washington DC lawyer are sparring over an internal email chain that allegedly shows Facebook employees are discussing Cambridge Analytica data harvest scandal in September 2015. These alleged emails came months before Facebook claims it taught Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm founded by Donald Trump's backers, millions of Facebook users scraped information without their knowledge.
Facebook and the Advocate General are in court Friday to argue whether these emails can be seen by the public. If they are sealed, their content may oppose the difficult testimony of Zuckerberg made before Congress last year. It's part of a lawsuit filed by DC Attorney General Karl Racine and accusing Facebook of protecting user data.
Facebook claims it learned about Cambridge Analytics talks at the same time as the public in December 201
The data was reminded by former psychologist Professor Aleksandr Kogan using a personality quiz. Kogan later sold data to Cambridge Analytica, who hired him as a contractor in 2014.
" The general public itself has little or no interest in this document, which could justify exposing Facebook to the risks that would inevitably accompany publication
Subsequent revelations, including statements from a whistleblower in 2018, showed that Kogan's app had exploited a feature of Facebook's architecture, which also allowed the harvesting of personal information from friends of people who used it Up to 87 million users may have their information scraped, estimated Facebook.
The terms of service in the app clearly told users that Kogan intended to "edit, copy, communicate, publish, transfer, add or merge with other databases , seller, license (whatever and regardless of terms) and archive your contribution and data. "Facebook was given the terms of service during the app approval process, but later it never admitted to reading the language. App users' friends received no publication.
" When Facebook learned about Kogan's Facebook data sheet data usage data in December 2015, we immediately act, "Zuckerberg told Congress last year." The company retained an external company to assist in examining Kogan's actions to require Kogan and each party to share data with deleted data and any derivative of the data and obtain certifications, as they had done. "
But the DC law firm claims to have documents indicating otherwise. On Monday, the Office submitted a proposal for unsafe emails from September 2015, which allegedly showed that US-based Facebook employees expressed concerns of Cambridge Analytica.
"A DC-based Facebook employee warned the company that Cambridge Analytica was a [redacted] spu Ask other Facebook employees for & # 39; [redacted] & # 39; and received replies that Cambridge Analytics data scratch practices were & # 39; [redacted] with Facebook's Platform Policy, the edited movement to be read exceptionally.
Facebook has struggled back to reveal e-mail content and goes to court Friday afternoon to decide If emails will be published.
"The document contains sensitive commercial information about" internal works "of Facebook's business to be protected from disclosure," wrote Facebook in a proposal for the reverse email release. Make it public " be able to give competitors valuable insight into how Facebook operates. The general public itself has little or no interest in this document, which could justify exposing Facebook to the risks that would inevitably accompany disclosure. "
The company told the Guardian that these emails related to another Cambridge Analytica event and not the offense reported in December 2015.
" In September 2015, employees heard speculation that Cambridge Analytica scrapped data, unfortunately is common to any internet service, "says a Facebook spokesman." In December 2015, we first learned through media reports that Kogan sold data to Cambridge Analytica and we took action. There were two different things. "
It is a response that is typical of the company's approach to scandal, which effectively claims that the email should remain private because it relates to a completely different alleged data waste design, not to a psychologist, but directly to Cambridge Analytica – that the company has had pains to hide.
"Facebook has not publicly disclosed the document or its contents and has, in its secrecy, sought assurances from any governmental body or entity to whom it has provided the document that it would also maintain its confidentiality "The company wrote in its journal.
AG's proposal accuses Facebook of" seeking [ing] to avoid publishing its employees' honest assessments of how more third parties violated Facebook policies. "
The fight for the document is only a front in a long-standing war between Facebook and several governments. In the UK, the company is facing a similar investigation into whether it violates users' privacy. The UK has stricter data abuse laws, suggesting more serious Facebook consequences if it turns out to be negligent with the user's information.In July, U.SK Facebook beat a £ 500,000 (about $ 660,000) fine over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook is currently appealing to the decision.
British lawyer Damian Collins, who has led his country's responsibility to Facebook, suggested that September 2015 e-mails could mean that the company was misleading in evidence before British parliament.
"This important new information might suggest that Facebook consistently mislead @CommonsCMS about what it knew and when it came to Cambridge Analytica, " he tweeted Thursday .
Last week, Kogan filed a complaint case od Facebook, accusing the company of blaming him when it mistakenly claimed that his app was approved under counterfeits.
"Instead of accepting the unpleasant glare of the spotlight and accepting the responsibility for any mistakes it might have made, Facebook entered into the PR crisis mode & # 39; which quickly addressed Dr. Kogan as an appropriate syndebue. " The cook's complaint fees. 19659025]