Document shows Facebook has no control over user data

App Tracking Transparency harmful says Facebook

Facebook has always been embroiled in a privacy controversy because the company explicitly has a business model based on selling user data. However, a new leaked document suggests things there could be far worse than we ever imagined.

The internal document (via Engadget) is a report written by the privacy engineers of the Facebook Ad team, and it was sent to company executives. The engineers detail how Facebook could deal with local regulators requesting new privacy measures to protect user data.

However, according to the report, even Facebook engineers agree that the company has no control over how user data is handled internally. The Facebook Ad team warned the leaders of the social network that the company would find it difficult to promise governments changes on these aspects.

“We do not have an adequate level of control and explainability over how our systems use data, and therefore cannot confidently make controlled policy changes or external commitments such as ‘we don’t will not use X data for Y purposes,” the report authors wrote. “And yet that is exactly what regulators expect of us, increasing our risk of errors and misrepresentations.”

The document reveals that Facebook’s database has “open borders”, so first-party user data, third-party data and even sensitive data are all stored together. Therefore, controlling a specific part of this data is not an easy task. Although a Facebook spokesperson denied that the company is not following the regulations, an anonymous employee described the situation as a “complete shit show”.

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Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta was rebuilding its advertising infrastructure to target iOS users. Since launching App Tracking Transparency last year, the social network has lost more than $10 billion in revenue. At the same time, Facebook continues to criticize Apple’s privacy policies, which the company says are “harmful” to both users and businesses.

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