Facebook warns of further data scandals to come

Facebook warns of further data scandals to come

It seems highly unlikely that the Cambridge Analytica scandal marks the beginning and end of Facebook’s trouble with user data security.

The admission was made to American financial watchdog the SEC last week.

“We anticipate that our ongoing investments in safety, security, and content review will identify additional instances of misuse of user data or other undesirable activity by third parties on our platform,” the company said. “We may also be notified of such incidents or activity via the media or other third parties.

"Such incidents and activities may include the use of user data in a manner inconsistent with our terms or policies, the existence of false or undesirable user accounts, election interference, improper ad purchases, activities that threaten people’s safety on- or offline, or instances of spamming, scraping, or spreading misinformation."

Buckle up

One of the key things to remember here is that while Facebook is now in full emergency mode following the high-scale backlash, the policies that allowed for this to happen were a deliberate business strategy. As a result it is perhaps no surprise that the media coverage of the fallout has often lacked sympathy.

Facebook has also warned that as well as the negative headlines, the scandals that are expected to come might dent its financial performance.

"There can be no assurances that a favourable final outcome will be obtained in all our cases, and defending any lawsuit is costly and can impose a significant burden on management and employees," the company added.

"Any litigation to which we are a party may result in an onerous or unfavourable judgment that may not be reversed upon appeal or in payments of substantial monetary damages or fines, or we may decide to settle lawsuits on similarly unfavourable terms, which could adversely affect our business, financial conditions, or results of operations."

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