Facebook assures government that Indonesian user data was not misused

Facebook has confirmed to the Indonesian government that the personal data of 1 million Indonesians was not improperly shared by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, Reuters reported.

This follows findings earlier in the year that saw the social media giant admitting that 1,096,666 Indonesian users were at risk, making it the third most affected country in the Cambridge Analytica saga. However, Facebook explained to Reuters that this number was referring to users who had their data accessed and not necessarily misused.

The move also follows a letter the Indonesian communications ministry sent to Facebook seeking information on measures the platform was taking to mitigate the issue and limit access to data. In addition, the debacle prompted the ministry to enquire on an audit Facebook was conducting following the scandal. This also saw communications minister Rudiantara raising the possibility of closing down Facebook in Indonesia if user data had been misused, the report added.

Marketing Interactive has reached out to Facebook for comment.

Since the scandal unfolded, Facebook has accelerated the deprecation of Instagram API Platform, disabling all remaining capabilities to read public media on a user’s behalf and reading a user’s own profile info and media. The platform also required approval for all apps that request access to information such as check-ins, likes, photos, posts, videos, events and groups.

Tightening its review process, it will no longer allow apps to ask for access to personal information such as religious or political views, relationship status and details, custom friends lists, and more. Facebook also revealed plans to shut down Partner Categories, a product that lets third-party data providers offer their targeting directly on Facebook.

Globally, the information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the US — was found to possibly be improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica at the time. The move copped backlash for Facebook, wiping an estimate of US$60billion off its market cap, said a TechCrunch report.

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