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Why was Facebook selling user data to companies?

Why was Facebook selling user data to companies?

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Asked by I.Helen, Last updated: Nov 22, 2018

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R. Glover

R. GloverEditor, New York City
Editor, New York City

Answered on Nov 22, 2018

Facebook recently got into a scandal wherein a whistleblower has announced that the data of different Facebook users were used to manipulate the potential outcome of the 2016 elections. This was the year when Donald Trump won. A lot of people say that their lives have not been the same ever since.

Facebook was not supposed to do this because they know the repercussion of this act. True enough, a lot of users have deleted their own Facebook accounts. Facebook is trying to make sure that this will not happen again. People who are involved are being questioned and they want to show the public that they are serious about improving the security of the website.

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V. Barnes

V. Barnes

Answered on Jun 13, 2018

The reason that Facebook was selling the data of its users to other companies was to help increase the revenue that they were earning through advertising. Simply put, Facebook would have an agreement to be able to advertise on a particular company website. In turn, that company would be able to place ads on Facebook. If it was a shoe company, Facebook would provide user data so the shoe company would know the exact user pages in which they should place their ads on. Facebook would sell user information such as their likes and tastes and even their past browsing and clicking histories.

Users were becoming suspect when companies would place ads in user pages and the users were wondering how the company knew such personal information. The practice was contributed to the Cambridge Analytical scandal which forced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to have to go to Washington, DC and testify before a Congressional panel. Zuckerberg also made an apperance before a session of the British Parliament. He has stressed that Facebook has changed the ways that it stores and uses the personal information of its users.

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