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Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica, deleted Zuckerberg's messages, wanted hospital data

Staff Writer |
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged that Facebook knew Cambridge Analytica had mishandled users' data 2 1/2 years ago.

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She was saying the company failed to follow up when the consulting firm said the data had been deleted.

Had Facebook audited Cambridge Analytica's data holdings, Facebook could have prevented the privacy scandal that has enveloped the company, Sandberg told NBC's Savannah Guthrie during an interview on "Today" show.

You can’t remove Facebook messages from the inboxes of people you sent them to, but Facebook did that for Mark Zuckerberg and other executives.

Three sources confirm to TechCrunch that old Facebook messages they received from Zuckerberg have disappeared from their Facebook inboxes, while their own replies to him conspicuously remain.

An email receipt of a Facebook message from 2010 reviewed by TechCrunch proves Zuckerberg sent people messages that no longer appear in their Facebook chat logs or in the files available from Facebook’s Download Your Information tool.

Facebook began speaking with hospitals last year about the possibility of matching anonymized user profiles with health data in an effort to improve medical care, according to a CNBC report exposing the program.

Facebook confirmed its work to CNBC but said it had hit “pause” on the program last month — presumably following the Cambridge Analytica scandal — to focus on “doing a better job of protecting people’s data” and being clearer about how it’s used.

The plan had been to get hospitals to share anonymized medical information — such as health issues and age, but not name — and match it up with anonymized Facebook accounts that appeared to belong to those same people, according to the report.

It would then somehow use insights from users’ Facebook behavior to inform medical treatments.

In one example CNBC gives, it says Facebook might have determined that an elderly user didn’t have many local friends, so a hospital may want to send a nurse to check in on them while recovering from a surgery.

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