Mozilla stops Facebook ads amid data privacy concerns

Mozilla stops Facebook ads amid data privacy concerns
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Internet corporation Mozilla on Wednesday announced that it would end its advertising on Facebook amid the controversy surrounding the social media platform and British research firm Cambridge Analytica.

"We found that [Facebook's] current default settings leave access open to a lot of data – particularly with respect to settings for third party apps," Mozilla said in a blog post.

Facebook has faced widespread backlash following revelations that Cambridge Analytica improperly extracted data from 50 million Facebook users without permission.

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Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — UN calls for probe into alleged Saudi hack of Bezos | Experts see effort to 'silence' Washington Post | Bezos tweets tribute to Khashoggi Trump says Zuckerberg presidential run 'wouldn't be too frightening' Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' MORE on Wednesday acknowledged that Facebook “made mistakes” in its dealings with Cambridge Analytica, which had ties to the Trump campaign.

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

He also said in an interview on CNN that he was open to having his company regulated.

“Actually, I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” he said. “I actually think the question is more ‘what is the right regulation?’ rather than ‘yes or no, should it be regulated?’ 

“If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV, in print, you know, it's just not clear why there should be less on the internet."

Mozilla, the developer of the Firefox web browser, said it was encouraged by Zuckerberg's vow to improve the platform's privacy settings.

"We are encouraged that Mark Zuckerberg has promised to improve the privacy settings and make them more protective. When Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps, we’ll consider returning," the company wrote. "We look forward to Facebook instituting some of the things that Zuckerberg promised today."

The controversy has drawn intense scrutiny from Washington. A number of lawmakers have demanded that the Facebook CEO visit Capitol Hill and testify on privacy concerns.

Zuckerberg has not testified in D.C. in the past, but has sent a number of other experts and heads of different sectors of his company to speak on behalf of the social media giant.