Facebook seems to be on a mission to dole out its massive amount of user data to whomever it deems interested, particularly politicians and world leaders. This week it was revealed that the company had cut back on the number of reports it would create for certain investigators but have since dramatically upped the number of responses it sends in terms of ads. Now, comes news that the company might let down those who have made it a point to not give them personal information, although it might not share your very private posts or photos.
Since we don’t really know how useful this information is, or is not, the social media platform probably felt that it should let those who care to be convinced its data collection efforts are in the public interest, here’s what we know.
The digital document, based on anonymous emails, raises some interesting questions for privacy advocates, not the least of which is who have been the most notified when Facebook has had an outage?
Questions about the how to respond were raised after Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, sent an email to New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking how he should respond after the city’s Office of Information Technology and Telecommunications (OIT) spotted a “mission update” mentioning specific people.
“[OIT] released something related to the Facebook account of the mayor yesterday, which we think we need to reactivate for the city,” Osofsky wrote.
In other words, do we want someone in a job position who was unaware of that particular place Facebook would no longer be offering their services to, and now want to fling the facility to the general public, or do we just need a few more days in which to figure out that the city is no longer a “Facebook” zone?
OIT’s Director of Communications Rob Stothard appeared to be on board, at least with the idea that Facebook posts will be less frequently scrubbed for violations of its policies.
“We would like the mayor to re-register his account,” Stothard wrote back. “He never posted anything on Facebook that was not on the public record, and we have the understanding he had about the Facebook membership policy going back several years. This should be something that we can do with relative ease,” he said.
If the mayor’s account isn’t the only one we could have issues with, then what would this mean for the thousands of non-government or individual accounts that could potentially be in the same boat?
Bloomberg also may have some chance to ask if he has been in violation of Facebook’s no-sharing policy. After all, his wife, Diana Taylor, also has her own Facebook account, which was removed from Facebook after a recent report claimed that the mayor’s office used the platform to compromise Mayor de Blasio’s political opponents.
This definitely looks like one complaint the mayor’s office is going to be using to get back in Facebook’s good graces. If you’re interested in further investigation into the amount of time the mayor was notified, and then removed, from Facebook, head here.