Facebook: an internal document reveals that the social network cannot manage the data of its users

According to this document, the company’s engineers are concerned about its inability to control data, which is problematic under several laws.

Yet another story about Facebook and data. The American giant, which has faced several scandals in the matter, is facing a new problem. According to an internal document obtained by Motherboard, the company does not know where all of its users’ data goes. A concern for the privacy engineers within the Ad and Business Product team, which originated the document. loaded “to establish meaningful connections between people and companies”, it is at the heart of Facebook’s monetization strategy. It takes care of the first source of income for the social network, namely advertising.

Engineers say they have difficulty tracking data once it’s inside the company’s systems. “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,” they said.

Problems complying with laws

These control difficulties are a source of concern for engineers who want Facebook to change the way it handles user data. This is to prevent the social network from having problems with regulators in several countries, including the United States and Europe. These seek to limit how platforms can use personal information through laws. Since 2018, for example, companies are required to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.

Facebook, like other platforms, will soon have to comply with the rules of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) recently adopted by the European Union. Together, they are supposed to ensure access to a wide online choice of safe products and services for users, customers and businesses while enabling companies operating in Europe to compete freely and fairly online. The revelations of Motherboard have also drawn criticism from lawmakers and parliamentarians in the United States and Europe. For Alexandra Geese, MEP and co-negotiator of the DSA, it is “an admission of massive breaches of European data protection laws”. She believes that Facebook will have problems complying with the DSA and DMA.

In response to the various criticisms, a Meta spokesperson said that “These allegations are baseless and completely misrepresent the way we handle data”. He further clarified that in order to oversee the use of data across all of the company’s operations, the company has implemented one of the most comprehensive privacy programs.

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