Tech companies could be forced to tighten data sharing following Facebook scandal

Atheer – External Sources

Big internet companies and small software developers are set to face scrutiny over how they share customer information, following the scandal involving Facebook and the British election consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

According to Reuters, lawmakers in the United States and the EU have called for probes into how Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to access data on fifty million users and use it to help President Donald Trump’s election campaign. Facebook shares have fallen 8.5 percent this week, as investors fear the incident will lead to new regulation.

The scrutiny and the risk of regulatory action could affect Google, Twitter, Uber, LinkedIn and the many others that make their user data available to outside developers.

The interconnections between platforms such as Facebook and Google and third-party services are at the core of the contemporary internet, affording people the ability to quickly share articles to Facebook from news websites and log into shopping apps using their Google account.
The Facebook case has however turned the application programming interfaces, or APIs, that enable such data sharing, into a new front in the escalating battle between lawmakers and tech companies over the monitoring and securing of their vast platforms. The threat of sanctions has already forced companies into better policing of inappropriate commentary on their services.
“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, who helped run APIs at Pinterest, Twitter and Google and now works at GGV Capital.

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