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Facebook uses their WhatsApp data and does not plan to stop doing it

The network justifies the use of messaging service information to combat abusive content.

The possibility that Facebook and WhatsApp (company that the social network acquired in 2014) are connected or exchange information of their users has been one of the biggest concerns expressed in recent days after the scandal of data leakage of more than 87 million of users to the British consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Does Facebook use WhatsApp data to send advertisements? Is the information we share in the courier service safe?

At the hearing before the United States Congress last April in which Mark Zuckerberg apologized and explained the measures his company is taking to protect users, the Facebook president evaded questions about whether Facebook and WhatsApp in the future will be separated to be independent services. However, he noted that the content of WhatsApp is encrypted so that "Facebook systems do not see the content transferred in WhatsApp."

"We do not see any content on WhatsApp, it is completely encrypted," he said. 

This Tuesday, a quieter and more serene Zuckerberg appeared before the European Parliament to, again, ask for forgiveness. The change of attitude compared to his appearance in the United States Congress was quite noticeable, he was seen serene and smiling. The format of the session helped to avoid answering many questions from the parliamentarians, including those concerning the issue of privacy on WhatsApp. 

In one of the written responses sent today to the MEPs, who promised to send after the appearance, The company's founder now admitted that Facebook does share its users' data with WhatsApp but notes that it does so to "exchange information and take action" against "abusive content or spam. " The company argues that despite requests from various European courts will maintain this policy 

The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has detected serious infringements of the national law in the processing of data by these companies. The Spanish authorities sanctioned with 600,000 euros ($ 738,000) to WhatsApp and Facebook (300,000 each) by session and processing of personal data of its users without consent, a fine that the company has already said it will appeal.

The social network clarifies that it does not do it to "improve the product experience or the announcements on Facebook", although it does not rule out doing it "in the future". "If we choose to do this in the future, we will do it according to the General Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR, in its acronym in English), says the company, referring to the new regulations that apply as of this Friday in the European Union (EU). 

This legislation, which Zuckerberg undertook to apply, will give the citizen greater control over the use that others make of their personal information, since, among other measures, it will demand their explicit consent for companies to use their data.

The billionaire businessman promised to answer in writing to the questions of the parliamentarians that remained in the pipeline, a total of 18 issues to which the company has sent a response on behalf of Zuckerberg today. 

MEPs insist on this questionnaire written in their concern about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, taking into account the massive filtering of data that could condition the "Brexit" referendum and the victory of Donald Trump in the US, especially in view of the European elections of 2019. 

Facebook promises to make its advertising system "more transparent", after the possible interference by Moscow in the US presidential elections. UU of 2016.

In this sense, he assures that he will make a greater follow-up of the pages that have a greater number of followers to "evaluate their content more effectively". However, he admits that he can not promise to "eradicate" the false accounts despite the advances that have made it possible to "improve the deactivation" of these accounts, which have led the company to deactivate 583 million false profiles in the first quarter of 2018. 

"We are committed to doing everything we can to eliminate fake Facebook accounts, but we can not promise to eradicate them," says the company. Facebook argues that the high number of false accounts is due to an "improved technology to identify them", and that the numbers "may vary due to spikes"

In his speech in Brussels, Zuckerberg recalled that during the last presidential elections in France, in May 2017, Facebook suppressed more than 30,000 false accounts, and assured that by next summer "there will be many tools to achieve the transparency that will be implemented. planetary form. " 

TECHNOLOGY WITH EFE

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