Facebook does not control the management of its users’ data, according to an internal document

MADRID, 27 Apr. (Portaltic/EP) –

Facebook has recognized that it does not have an “adequate” level of control over how its systems use the data of its millions of users around the world and, therefore, is unable to adhere with complete confidence to the “tsunami” of regulatory changes that have been implemented in regions such as the European Union (EU) and countries like India or South Korea.

Companies that base part of their activity on the manipulation of user data, such as Facebook, have been forced in recent years to face the regulatory changes in privacy imposed by some regions.

In an internal company document obtained by Motherboard, the technology section of the medium Viceprivacy engineers at Facebook admit they don’t have “an adequate level of control” and understanding of how their systems use their users’ data.

The engineers of the social network explain that they have built systems “with open barriers”. The result of this is described with an analogy: an ink bottle. This object represents a mixture of all types of data from its users (own data, third-party data, data considered especially sensitive, European data…).

If that bottle of ink is poured into a lake, which would represent Facebook’s “open” systems, data flows “everywhere.” Next, the engineers wonder how that ink can be re-bottled.

This situation prevents the social network from adhering with complete confidence to policy changes and external commitments, such as deciding that they will stop using specific data for a specific purpose. However, this is something that is expected of the company which increases “the risk of problems and misrepresentations”.

Facebook acknowledges that it is facing a “fundamental” problem in the document, dated 2021, when facing what it calls a “tsunami” of regulations on user privacy around the world, such as the creation in 2018 of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe.

The social network believes that an additional investment is appropriate both in its Ads team and in those in charge of its infrastructure to face these challenges after seeing “surprised” due to the regulatory changes introduced in 2021 both in the EU and in countries such as India, South Korea, Thailand, Egypt or South Africa, which will restrict the use of own data.

This economic injection is planned to be distributed over several years and its objective is to allow the social network to regain control over how its systems ingest and process data.

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