Facebook's "unsend" message tool to go public


Facebook's "unsend" message tool to go public

Facebook has been secretly deleting some of the messages CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent through its Messenger application, an option that hasn't been available to most of the social network's 2.2 billion users. But when they downloaded their Facebook archive and went looking for the same message, it had gone missing.

"I think Facebook has not been clear enough with how to use its privacy settings", said Jamie Winterton, director of strategy for Arizona State University's Global Security Initiative.

"These [changes] included limiting the retention period for Mark's messages in Messenger", Facebook said in a statement to Tech Crunch. "We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages".

Then, some users who logged in to Facebook through Android devices discovered that Facebook had been collecting information about phone calls they made and text messages they sent. Critics have attacked Facebook in the past for doing research on users without their permission.

The social network revealed this new information via an update post, which is meant to clarify Facebook's intent on what user data it will be sharing going forward. Even if the reason behind the exception holds up, Facebook would have done well to inform affected users, especially since its oft-referenced terms of service only indicate that a message can be deleted if it contains content that violates the community standards. When the timer runs out, the message would disappear from both their and the recipients' inboxes. "They gave us assurances and it wasn't until other people told us it wasn't true". While he has admitted that curing all issues that Facebook has got itself into will take years, but what about all the other issues that keep creeping up each day?

But tampering with users' inboxes without disclosure has struck many users a violation of Facebook's power.

The six organisations who signed the letter were surprised that that Zuckerberg had praised the effectiveness of Facebook "systems".

Facebook Inc. (FB) now says the number of people whose information was "improperly shared" with British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica is 87 million. Without any consent from users. But Zuckerberg and other executives didn't use this, and instead had their permanent messages specially retracted. Facebook says it has made changes to its privacy policy to make it much tougher for thirdparty apps to secure data from its site as they would have to take the sanction of Facebook each time.

Facebook's new estimate, however, came as a part of a post in which the social media juggernaut outlined several new steps it was taking to restrict third parties' access to user data on its platform. Facebook still isn't calling it a breach though.

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