Facebook is said to research ad-free subscription-based version

May 05, 2018, 02:01
Facebook is said to research ad-free subscription-based version

Facebook has examined adding a paid-for version of the platform in the past, but in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy controversies, the company is reportedly stepping up its plans.

Executives also have been facing hard questions from employees, like whether Facebook should be offering political advertising at all.

"There was indication the company was in trouble and change would be coming, but we didn't see this as the resolution", the source reveals.

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A broad review of the entire business model is continuing at Facebook, while global politicians call for Zuckerberg to answer questions relating to the circumstances that led Cambridge Analytica to obtain user data from millions of profiles, and allegedly use this information to influence political processes.

Nonetheless, officials close to the matter said that the probe won't be retracted based on that statement, and the liability of the company still has to be questioned, since the issue is from before their decision to close shop. News of the leak spurred questions about the information Facebook collects on people for ads, and whether users are tracked and targeted in ways they don't expect or understand. The investigation is ongoing. The spokesperson at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for the country stated, "The ICO will continue its civil and criminal investigation and will seek to pursue individuals and directors as appropriate and necessary even where companies may no longer be operating". This action was taken after a whistleblower claimed Nix set up a "fake office" in Cambridge to present a more academic side to the company, and made comments to undercover reporters that "do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation". The House of Commons committee on digital, culture, media and sport is also investigating the company.

The most recent notice that the government sent to Cambridge Analytica enquired about their data harnessing capabilities.

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The company is just rebranding, according to tech news website Register.com, which said that the United Kingdom official registrar of businesses and organizations, Companies House, lists an active company called Emerdata Limited, which is headquartered at the same offices as SCL Elections, the political arm of the company, and is run by the same individuals.

Julian Wheatland, the recently appointed CEO of Cambridge Analytica, reportedly told staffers that it had evaluated all options and saw no way forward. Dr Alexander Taylor, acting CEO of Cambridge Analytica, was appointed a director of Emerdata on March 28.

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