Apple and IBM Execs Call for Stricter Social Media Data Oversight after Facebook Breach

Apple and IBM Execs Call for Stricter Social Media Data Oversight after Facebook Breach

March 27, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Apple and IBM executives are urging lawmakers to consider more oversight on how personal data is used after a Facebook breach that affected 50 million people.

During a three-day China Development forum, Apple CEO Tim Cook said “well-crafted” regulation was needed, and Virginia Rometty, IBM Corp chief,  said users should have more control over their data, according to Reuters.

“I’m personally not a big fan of regulation because sometimes regulation can have unexpected consequences to it, however I think this certain situation is so dire, and has become so large, that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary,” said Cook.

According to a letter written from the United States Senate to Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Strategic Communications Laboratories and Cambridge Analytica created a test app called “thisisyourdigitallife.” While only 270,000 Facebook users consented to allow the app to gather their personal data, the language of the agreement also allowed the creators to gather information about those users’ friends. Thus, 50 million Facebook users had their personal information harvested—even though only a very small number provided consent.

Senators John Thune, Roger Wicker, and Jerry Moran have given Zuckerberg until March 29 to answer their inquiries, which included questions on when Facebook notified individuals whose data was improperly shared and whether the company is aware of other third-party apps mining this type of data.

Security experts caution consumers on the risks of what they post online.

Jose Delgado, a security expert with Taino Consultants, which helps heath care organizations follow strict HIPAA laws regarding personal information, told “Much of the press is missing the truth behind this Facebook issue. It wasn’t a hack. It wasn’t a breach. Millions of people have posted their personal information online, willingly and oftentimes without thinking. Of course it’s going to be mined, it’s a treasure trove for businesses and politicians alike. The only real solution is for people to be more aware of what they are posting online. Understanding and aggressively monitoring privacy settings on social media sites is a part of the solution, but in truth social media sites are all about sharing information about and for their users. It’s what they do. Users that value their personal information will have to build their own personal firewall within themselves and limit what they share.”

Inquiries into Facebook’s practices and calls for better regulation are not the only issues the company is facing. According to a report from CNBC, Facebook shares have dropped 6% since the Federal Trade Commission announced it would be investigating the company’s data practices.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 27, 2018. For up-to-date
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About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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