Facebook admits it didn't read terms of app that caused data breach

Facebook shakes up Washington lobbying team amid scandal
Greg Nash

27 April, 2018

While some famous names and companies have abandoned Facebook recently, the site's number of monthly active users keeps on growing. It now has an overall user base of more than 2.2 billion.

Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders rose in the first quarter to $4.99 billion, or $1.69 per share, from $3.06 billion, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier. It made $11.97 billion in revenue in the first three months of the year, up 49% from the previous year.

Echoing this sentiment, Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018".

Facebook suddenly found itself under the spotlight when it was revealed that a data firm called Cambridge Analytica exploited the personal data of 50 million users, most of which were American voters, to manipulate voter sentiment in the run-up to the 2016 USA presidential elections.

It has also been accused of doing little to stop the spread of so-called fake news and misinformation during elections.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has sparked government investigations globally, was mentioned only once on an hour-long conference call between analysts and Facebook management, when one analyst asked Zuckerberg what he learned from testifying in United States congressional hearings.

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Facebook has said the personal information of about 87 million users might have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump's 2016 presidential election campaign.

When questioned by chairman Damian Collins, Mr Schroepfer said there was no "category-by-category opt-out" in terms of the kind of political advertising users were presented with, meaning they have no control over whether they're presented with adverts from particular campaigns or parties. They and others have been notified, as Facebook undergoes a review of all apps on its platform and their privacy practices. Mark Zuckerberg stated in November 2017 that he has big plans for the company in 2018 to improve the product and prevent widespread abuse, which could help improve Facebook's image in the eyes of the people.

Facebook's stock was up 7 percent on the back of the report.

As Bloomberg pointed out, one seemingly minor concern for Facebook is the rate of growth in recent months. In fact, if you were exclusively looking at the company's latest earnings, you might actually think the scandal has helped Facebook.

He was also asked why it did not immediately inform users that their data had been used without consent. Facebook has since apologized amid the scandal and promised to do a better job of safeguarding user data. They're adapting to the fact that people typically spend less than a few seconds viewing an ad, and are creating content that can cut through the clutter to capture peoples' attention.

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