Nytt

Marc Zuckerberg snakket som en oljet maskin da han vitnet for Kongressen 11. april. Kun Ted Cruz stilte ham til veggs. De nå avsløringene er langt mer alvorlige. Foto: Leah Mills/Reuters/Scanpix

Da Cambridge Analytica ble hengt ut for å ha tappet Facebook-kunders vennerkontoer, var det noe som klang falskt. Facebook påsto at de hadde vært uvitende om trafikken og at Cambridge Analytica hadde misbrukt tillit.

Nå står en lite datafirma i California frem og sier at Facebook er den virkelige skurken. De gjorde akkurat det de beskyldte Cambridge Analytica for, bare på en mye større skala.

A company suing Facebook in a California court claims the social network’s chief executive “weaponised” the ability to access data from any user’s network of friends – the feature at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Selskapet Six4Three har stevnet Facebook for en domstol i San Mateo, California. De hevder å sitte på tusenvis av eposter bl.a med Marc Zuckerberg personlig:

The developer alleges the correspondence shows Facebook paid lip service to privacy concerns in public but behind the scenes exploited its users’ private information.

It claims internal emails and messages reveal a cynical and abusive system set up to exploit access to users’ private information, alongside a raft of anti-competitive behaviours.

Hvis dette skulle stemme, vil det være svært skadelig for Facebooks renomme. Facebook påberoper seg redaksjonelle frihet til ikke å utlevere kommunikasjonen sier det er deres redaksjonelle rettighet å bestemme hva de vil offentliggjøre av kommunikasjon. Men dette får kritikere til å stusse. Facebook understreket nylig overfor Kongressen at det ikke har en redaksjonell policy, men kun er en teknologisk plattform.

Zuckerberg fremstilte Facebook som et offer for Cambridge Analyticas misbruk av tillit da han forklarte seg for Kongressen. Realiteten er noe helt annet, sier Six4Three.

The lawsuit also claims Zuckerberg misled the public and Congress about Facebook’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal by portraying it as a victim of a third party that had abused its rules for collecting and sharing data.

“The evidence uncovered by plaintiff demonstrates that the Cambridge Analytica scandal was not the result of mere negligence on Facebook’s part but was rather the direct consequence of the malicious and fraudulent scheme Zuckerberg designed in 2012 to cover up his failure to anticipate the world’s transition to smartphones,” legal documents said.

Bakgrunnen for Facebooks gamble skal være at selskapet undervurderte eksplosjonen i salget av smarttelefoner. Facebook trodde stasjonære eller laptop-maskiner skulle dominere. Smarttelefonbølgen tok dem på sengen. For å bevare hegemoniet tydde Zuckerberg til rå maktpolitikk: De tappet brukernes vennekontoer for data for å kunne ha noe å tilby annonsørene som de ikke kunne få andre steder. Slik bandt de annonsørene til Facebook og kunne ta høyre priser for annonser på mobiler.

It sets out allegations that, in 2012, Facebook’s advertising business, which focused on desktop ads, was devastated by a rapid and unexpected shift to smartphones.

Zuckerberg responded by forcing developers to buy expensive ads on the new, underused mobile service or risk having their access to data at the core of their business cut off, the court case alleges.

“Zuckerberg weaponised the data of one-third of the planet’s population in order to cover up his failure to transition Facebook’s business from desktop computers to mobile ads before the market became aware that Facebook’s financial projections in its 2012 IPO filings were false,” one court filing said.

Facebook uutnyttet sin enestående tilgang til metadata fra brukere og venners kontor, til å skape et avhengighetsforhold for firmaer som baserte seg på «likes». Zuckerberg bestemte hvilke firmaer som skulle groomes, hvilke som skulle stenges ute og eventuelt ødelegges. Det siste er konkurransevridende og utnyttelse av monopolsituasjon.

In its latest filing, Six4Three alleges Facebook deliberately used its huge amounts of valuable and highly personal user data to tempt developers to create platforms within its system, implying that they would have long-term access to personal information, including data from subscribers’ Facebook friends.

Once their businesses were running, and reliant on data relating to “likes”, birthdays, friend lists and other Facebook minutiae, the social media company could and did target any that became too successful, looking to extract money from them, co-opt them or destroy them, the documents claim.

Hvis påstandene er riktige, kan det bli meget ubehagelig for Zuckerberg. Han fremstiller seg selv som det idealistiske supertalentet som bare ønsker å skape gode vibrasjoner mellom mennesker over hele jorda.

Det er et ganske annet bilde som kommer frem:

Six4Three alleges up to 40,000 companies were effectively defrauded in this way by Facebook. It also alleges that senior executives including Zuckerberg personally devised and managed the scheme, individually deciding which companies would be cut off from data or allowed preferential access.

Facebook utnyttet sin markedsmakt til å tvinge potensielle konkurrenter til å underkaste seg deres betingelser.

Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook employee turned whistleblower who has testified to the UK parliament about its business practices, said the allegations were a “bombshell”. (…)

“If true, these allegations show a huge betrayal of users, partners and regulators. They would also show Facebook using its monopoly power to kill competition and putting profits over protecting its users.”

 

 

 

Zuckerberg set up fraudulent scheme to ‘weaponise’ data, court case alleges