Facebook Does Not Fully Know How User Data Is Used
Facebook Does Not Fully Know How User Data Is Used

Facebook Does Not Fully Know How User Data Is Used

27 april, 20221 minute to read
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Against the backdrop of changing privacy regulations, Facebook faces a problem with the use of personal data. According to a leaked internal document written by Facebook's privacy engineers in the Ad and Business Product team, the company has no idea where users' personal data goes.

The leaked document states:

We’ve built systems with open borders. The result of these open systems and open culture is well described with an analogy: Imagine you hold a bottle of ink in your hand. This bottle of ink is a mixture of all kinds of user data (3PD, 1PD, SCD, Europe, etc.) You pour that ink into a lake of water (our open data systems; our open culture) … and it flows … everywhere. How do you put that ink back in the bottle? How do you organise it again, such that it only flows to the allowed places in the lake?


Facebook has no control over security policy changes, such as creating some kind of rule like ‘we will not use X data for Y purpose,’ as required by regulators around the world. Even the company's engineers reportedly cannot properly track the entire path of user information.

A Facebook spokesperson denied that the document shows the company is not complying with privacy regulations:

Considering this document does not describe our extensive processes and controls to comply with privacy regulations, it's simply inaccurate to conclude that it demonstrates non-compliance. New privacy regulations across the globe introduce different requirements and this document reflects the technical solutions we are building to scale the current measures we have in place to manage data and meet our obligations.
27 april, 2022
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