Facebook Still Struggling to Protect Users Data

By CultureBanx Team

  • Facebook’s workforce and leadership is only 3% black
  • Crimson Hexagon is the 2nd data firm Facebook has suspended in 2018

Once again the social media giant is trying to reign in the possible misuse of its 2.2 billion users data. This time around its British data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon caught in the cross hairs of the company. Facebook (FB -2.19%) has suspended the firm for harvesting data from its site.

Why This Matters: The real problem with so called “public data” is that it can inform companies about how particular groups of people are feeling at any given time and location. “We are investigating the claims about Crimson Hexagon to see if they violated any of our policies,” said Ime Archibong, vice president of partnerships for Facebook in a statement.

Crimson Hexagon handles large volumes of public user data that social media platforms generate daily, much in the same way Cambridge Analytica did before its major breach. They collect public posts from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (TWTR -8.03%), collating and analyzing for a multitude of purposes.

Right now 70% of Black adults are on Facebook, followed by 43% on Instagram and 26% on Twitter, according to Pew Research. When it comes to data breaches they are often more problematic for people of color, living on fixed or low incomes.

We can also look at Facebook’s lack of diversity as being part of the problem. The social media giant’s workforce and leadership is only 3% black. This continued lack of diversity at Facebook hinders it from identifying ways their product might harm certain customers. Also, in theory this allowed Cambridge Analytica to harvest valuable information on the largest social media user group, including African American’s participation in elections and spending habits.

Situational Awareness: The blame falls just as much on Facebook as it does on its developers. As the primary custodians of users social media data they must hold their partners accountable up front and not wait years to challenge the information being collected from their site.  

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