This whole session started because of the issue of securing data. Data shared with Cambridge Analytica was allegedly not deleted and in turn allowed people to be manipulated.
Journalists and politicians alike seem to struggle with the idea that data once shared with a third party can no longer be controlled technically.
Today it is controlled through contract.
Understanding how Facebook interfaces with third parties was also confusing many.
Data sharing for advertising and data sharing when using apps on Facebook are different scenarios.
Facebook’s business model is built on advertising and it is able to control 18% of the advertising market thanks to the data it holds on its users. Google controls 44% leaving the rest with not very much.
We’ll address the business model another day but it does not make sense for Facebook to share that data with advertisers. It would remove the very advantage that has allowed Facebook to control a significant amount of advertising spend.
Anyone advertising on Facebook can only select a targeting criteria which Facebook uses to decide who should see an advert.
Apps on Facebook on the other hand are a different story.
Facebook does not own these services. It is similar to the relationship between your Internet provider and a website albeit Facebook is holding data on you that can be shared with the app. Internet providers provide very little information to websites. Though Internet providers are also making money from your data in other ways that would also be useful to bring to into the public light - but that is a different issue.
With apps on Facebook - when you access an app, in the same way as when you choose to fill out a form on a website, you are sharing data with that company. Agreeing to do so means passing that data to the app provider.
Facebook no longer has control over it.
This was fast and loose several years ago, with Facebook trusting app providers far too much. Facebook eventually locked this down but the cat was already out of the bag.
Things are much more secure today than back then. But when using apps today, you can still share your profile data and friend’s list with apps. This is still opaque to most users and Facebook could improve this experience.