Facebook scans your private messages and calls
FACEBOOK has confessed to a startling number of ways it invades users' privacy, admitting it scans private messages, logs phone calls from its app, and lets data harvesters use its search feature like a reverse phone book.
The revelation puts founder Mark Zuckerberg under pressure to resign, as Facebook conceded the amount of personal details "improperly shared" with political campaigns is higher than first thought.
Australian authorities have launched an investigation into the social media giant after it confirmed the data of 311,000 Aussies had been compromised by Cambridge Analytica. The consultancy took the details from a quiz app created by a uni researcher.
Facebook now believes 87 million people worldwide had data accessed by the company behind Donald Trump's successful presidential campaign, up from about 50 million.
Up to two billion users could have had data used improperly, Facebook said, but Mr Zuckerberg said he was still the best person to run the company.
"We didn't take a broad enough view of what our responsibility was and that was a huge mistake. It was my mistake," Mr Zuckerberg said.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which has repeatedly warned Facebook over how vague it has been in telling users about collected data, said it would work with overseas authorities to see if the company had broken the law.
"All organisations that are covered by the Privacy Act have obligations in relation to the personal information that they hold," commissioner Angelene Falk said in a statement.
"This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is held securely, and ensuring that customers are adequately notified about the collection and handling of their information."
In a lengthy post yesterday, Facebook outlined all the ways it had collected personal information and said many of those would stop.
It said it "scanned" private messages for text and images sent on its Messenger app to make sure they complied with "community standards" and collected records of phone calls for users of Android devices. It will now delete that information but only if it's more than a year old. The company said it would also close a loophole that allows users to be identified if their phone number is typed into the search feature.