Facebook Inc is looking to pacify its shares, and it hopes to do so by buying back a whopping $9 billion of its shares, after a massive slump in its stock.
Facebook Confident of Share Revival
The social media megalith shares, which have reduced by a massive 22 percent this year, have now experienced a 1 percent increase after an extension in trading.
The new program is a recent strategy to the company’s plans to buy back over $15 billion of its shares, a strategy which it began last year.
That being said, Facebook is under investigation in Britain by lawmakers after it was discovered that Cambridge Analytica, a well-known consultancy firm, and one that was part of Donald Trump’s Campaign, had accessed personal data of more than 87 million Facebook users.
Indeed, concern regarding the practices of the social media giant has raised eyebrows all over the place, especially dealing with the role of foreign interference and political play in the Brexit vote of 2016, as well as the United States presidential elections.
Evidently, these are some of the topics that are under investigation by European and British regulators.
A Massive Data Scandal
It’s not been a decent year for Facebook, especially the fact that the company has had a decade of indifference to data privacy that has resulted in a myriad of scandals and revelations regarding political advertising and targeted advertising.
The Facebook data privacy infringement focuses on the collection of identifiable personal information of over 87 million individuals by the strategic communication and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
This company, in conjunction with others, accessed the personal data of millions of Facebook users as a result of a number of factors, while at the same time bypassing safeguards used to prevent companies from using social media giants for data harvesting.
What’s even more interesting is that there was no oversight whatsoever by Facebook developers regarding abuse of the Facebook API, and users agreeing to broad conditions and terms.
Facebook Users’ Information Collected by App
With the case of Cambridge Analytica, the company had the ability to harvest the personal information of millions via the personality quiz app known as thisisyourdigitallife that had similarities to the OCEAN personality model.
Indeed, information that was collected by the aforementioned app was then used to build a psychographic profile of individuals.
When one added the app to their Facebook account so that they could take the quiz, this gave the developers of the app the ability to access the information of the profiles user, as well as their history while they took the given quiz.
Additionally, more information was also taken from any of the friends of the personal users whose accounts had been accessed by the app. The data collected also included specific things and items that both the users, as well as their friends, had given a like on Facebook.
Indeed, in a paper by researchers at Cambridge University, the information was also used to accurately and automatically predict a number of highly personal and sensitive attributes regarding the individuals in question. For example, information derived include gender, age, parental separation, addictive substance use, intelligence, happiness, as well as personal traits.
The Model That Was Used
Moreover, a model was developed by the researchers to use a number of dimensionality reduction techniques, as well as linear regression to analyze the information that was taken by users.
According to information given by researchers, the model became highly effective as a result of the strong relationship of likes that is associated with a given attribute that an individual has.
Nevertheless, some likes are not totally indicative of a given person’s attributes.
The researchers have acknowledged that not all searches are synonymous with a particular section of society. For example, it was not a given indicative that just because an individual googled “Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps” or the “WWE” that they were straight.
Additionally, there were also peculiar exceptions to the rule. Indeed, it was discovered that individuals that liked or searched curly fries were determined to have a high IQ, while those who searched sour candy was a major indicator of smoking.
Interestingly, individuals that searched Gene Wilder was a strong indicator that the parents of the user had not had a separation by the time he or she was 21
Nevertheless, despite this shocking scandal, Facebook is confident that it will be able to reach the $15 billion target to buy back all its shares.