Facebook fights disclosure, the app records in the Massachusetts ‘ privacy probe

BOSTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc. on Thursday urged a judge not to force it to spin the records in the Massachusetts attorney general, the public disclosure of thousands of apps, the social media giant and the defendants misused information from users as part of a probe into its privacy practices.

FILE PHOTO: a Silhouette of a laptop, users will see the addition of a screen projection of Facebook logo in this photo illustration, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Illustration

Facebook also argued against the disclosure at a court hearing in Boston on one of several probes of Facebook by the attorney general regarding the business practices and, to the extent that they have the consumer’s information is at risk.

The Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, a Democrat, is among those that research project was started last year, the Facebook following the revelation that a political consulting firm in Cambridge Analytica wrong to gain access to data from the 87 million users.

She turned back to the court of augustus, to enforce the civil equivalent of a subpoena against Facebook, after he refused to reveal the identity of a 10,000 apps are considered to be a suspect in an internal investigation has been launched into the scandal’s wake.

As an assistant state Attorney General Sara Cable, told the Judge, Brian Davis, in the records, it will be necessary to determine the extent to which Facebook turned out to be a “blind eye” to the misuse of information by users, app developers, in spite of a policy aimed at the protection of their information.

“The information we’re looking for is,” Who are you police officers?'” Cable, he said.

She said that the question is relevant in view of the fact that the Cambridge Analytica, which the Republican President is Donald Trump’s campaign, was hired during the 2016 election, the details of the app developer is in violation of Facebook’s policies.

According to the court documents, Facebook’s internal investigation that led to the suspension 69,000 to apps, mostly because their developers did not cooperate with the investigation. About 10,000 have been identified as potentially being misused user information.

Felicia Ellsworth, an attorney for Facebook, argued that many of the records were covered by solicitor-client privilege, as the investigation conducted by a law firm in anticipation of the onslaught of regulatory probes and lawsuits that have followed.

“They’re doing it is to have a full and frank airing of the legal risks involved,” she said.

The argument prompted a sharp cross-questioning by the Judge, Brian Davis, who appeared skeptical about the possibility that Facebook might not otherwise have looked into app developers’ practices in the wake of the scandal, but the threat of a lawsuit.

“I think all of you agree with Cambridge, the Analytica was a very unfortunate event,” he said.

Other states, such as California, have been conducting a similar probe. In July, Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion to resolve a u.s. Federal Trade Commission probe into its privacy practices.

Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Richard Chang

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