Facing outcry over data breach, Facebook again overhauls privacy settings

Facebook VP memo shows execs knew were OK with shady practices

Facebook faces probes on both sides of the Atlantic over the hijacking of 50 million users' personal data by the firm. It was never circulated beyond the Facebook perimeter until yesterday (29 March) when BuzzFeed published an exposé.

"This year, for example, we are doubling the number of people who work on safety issues overall from 10,000 to 20,000, and that includes content reviewers, systems engineers and security experts", told Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook Product Manager reporters during a press conference. "That's why all the work we do in growth is justified", writes Boz in the memo. To that end, Bosworth that everything the company does, like questionable contact importing practices, subtle (and confusing) language, and more are justified. We've heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed.

The statement is unlikely to quell concerns about the group's actions and Facebook's role more generally in United States elections and public discourse. On Wednesday, the company introduced new features and privacy shortcuts to its site to give users more visibility and control over how their information is shared with friends, third parties and advertisers and the ability to download and delete Facebook data.

This 2016 memo also reveals that the company leadership did realize the risks associated with their platform, even if they continued to downplay those risks publicly.

The memo pointed out that connecting people can lead to good outcomes, such as finding love or preventing suicide.

At another point, Bosworth wrote that the effects of connecting more people "can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools", he said.

And still we connect people. "And still we connect people", he wrote.

A leaked Facebook memo from 2016 describes the consequences of growth.

Additionally, Zuckerberg read a statement and answered questions in an interview with The New York Times, but didn't seem to issue an apology directed towards any of his users. All of it.I don't agree with the post today and I didn't agree with it even when I wrote it.

"The goal of this post, like many others I have written internally, was to bring to the surface issues I felt deserved more discussion with the broader company", the statement reads.

In a Twitter post yesterday, he said that the memo did not reflect his personal views but was aimed at provoking debate within the social network. "We paused app review while we implement new changes to our platform", the company said. It is true; if we choose to use information-sharing apps that pair us with peers and cater to our interests, we have to expect to sacrifice some privacy.

Bosworth, a member of Zuckerberg's inner circle, is known for his outspoken and blunt comments. But make no mistake, growth tactics are how we got here. Facebook is also facing criticism for collecting years of data on call and text histories from Android users.

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