Report: Facebook labels 65,000 Russians as interested in treason - News Archive - PRIME Business News Agency - All News Politics Economy Business Wire Financial Wire Oil Gas Chemical Industry Power Industry Metals Mining Pulp Paper Agro Commodities Transport Automobile Construction Real Estate Telecommunications Engineering Hi-Tech Consumer Goods Retail Calendar Our Features Interviews Opinions Press Releases

Report: Facebook labels 65,000 Russians as interested in treason

MOSCOW, Jul 12 (PRIME) -- Facebooks advertising tools algorithmically labelled 65,000 Russians as interested in treason, potentially putting them at risk from the repressive state, until the company removed the category, The Guardian reported on Thursday, referring to inquiries from journalists.

The labelling raises new concerns over data-driven profiling and targeting of users on the website, which has already faced criticism for the same tool algorithmically inferring information about users race, sexuality and political views despite data protection legislation requiring explicit consent to hold such information.

Facebook said the label was intended to only identify historical treason. Treason was included as a category, given its historical significance. Given its an illegal activity, weve removed it as an interest category, a spokesperson said.

Although Facebook does not directly expose user interests to external parties, advertisers can easily uncover them through careful use of the companys public-access tools. For instance, they could run an advert targeting exclusively users living in Russia and marked as being interested in treason, then record the IP addresses of users who clicked through.

Those tools may be appealing to a state that is comfortable using the Internet for repression, said Russia expert Mette Skak, an academic at Aarhus University. Officially, the Internet is not censored in Russia. However, these methods, which Facebook has probably unwittingly given the Russian authorities, make it much easier for governmental agencies to systematically track persons marked as potential traitors.

In a statement, Facebook said that the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, which first highlighted the problem and shared the issue with The Guardian, had raised a number of important questions about the way Facebooks advertising systems work. Our goal is to ensure people see ads that are relevant and useful. Its better for the people using our service, as well as for advertisers.

When we identify misuse of our ads products, we take action. Depending on the violation, we may remove the ad, suspend the ad account or even report the advertiser to law enforcement.

The news comes a day after Facebook was discovered to have given privileged access to its site to Russian Internet company Mail.Ru Group.


12.07.2018 17:50
Share |
To report an error select text and press Ctrl+Enter
Central Bank Official Rate
1W 1M 1Y
EUR 71.9232 -0.3208 20 apr
USD 63.9602 -0.1086 20 apr
Stock Market Indices
1D 1W 1M 1Y
rtsi 1260.82 -0.12 18:50 19 apr
micex 2563.90 +0.12 18:50 19 apr
Stock Quotes in RUR
1D 1W 1M 1Y
gazp 162.57 +0.48 18:49 19 apr
lkoh 5602.00 -0.14 18:48 19 apr
rosn 432.00 -0.84 18:49 19 apr
sber 232.60 -0.08 18:49 19 apr
MICEX Ruble Trading
1D 1W 1M 1Y
EURTD 71.9125 -0.2875 14:59 19 apr
USDTD 64.0125 +0.0400 17:44 19 apr