Facebook saga puts Uber, other tech firms on the spot


Facebook saga puts Uber, other tech firms on the spot
A figurine is seen in front of the Facebook logo in this illustration taken March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

In Summary

  • Uber, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and other technology-based companies that make their user data available to outside developers are also likely to face the risk of regulation.
  • Uber, for example, in 2016 enabled apps that provided tax and lending services to import driver pay slips.
  • The company did not respond to a request for comment on its monitoring and auditing practices.

Internet companies are likely to face scrutiny over how they share customer data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving Facebook.

Uber, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and other technology-based companies that make their user data available to outside developers are also likely to face the risk of regulation.

“All companies are going to need to do a lot more than just laissez faire policy to manage third-party data access moving forward,” said Jason Costa, former manager at Pinterest.

Uber, for example, in 2016 enabled apps that provided tax and lending services to import driver pay slips. The company did not respond to a request for comment on its monitoring and auditing practices.

“The days of ‘we are just a platform and can’t be held responsible for how users use it’ line that many companies use, is no longer going to be tenable,” Mr. Costa, who has also worked at Google, said.

Google and Microsoft however declined to comment on the matter.

For paid deals, LinkedIn said “partners are rigorously vetted and regularly declined.” The company added that it regularly monitors usage and takes “swift action when we see or hear of any abuse of our terms.”

Lawmakers in the United States and the EU have called for probes into how Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to access data for 50 million users and use it to influence elections.

Threat of sanctions has already prodded companies into better policing of inappropriate commentary on their services.

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