Mozilla has announced it’s suspending its advertising on Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica privacy controversy — saying it has concerns the current default privacy settings remain risky, and having decided to take a fresh look at Facebook’s app permissions following the latest user data handling scandal. This week the New York Times and The Observer of London reported that a researcher’s app had pulled personal information on about 270,000 Facebook users and 50 million of their friends back in 2015, and then passed that data haul to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook’s policies. Facebook’s policies previously allowed developers to siphon off app users’ Facebook friends data — though Facebook tightened up these permissions in 2014 — “to dramatically reduce data access”, as founder Mark Zuckerberg has now claimed — though evidently not dramatically enough for Mozilla. Mozilla writes: “This news caused us to take a closer look at Facebook’s current default privacy settings given that we support the platform with our advertising dollars. While we believe there is still more to learn, we found that its current default settings leave access open to a lot of data – particularly with respect to settings for third party apps.” It is also running a petition calling for Facebook to lock down app permission settings to ensure users’ privacy is “protected by default”, saying the current default settings “leave a lot of questions and a lot of data flying around”. “Facebook’s current app permissions leave billions of its users vulnerable without knowing it,” it writes. “If you play games, read news or take quizzes on Facebook, chances are you are doing those activities through third-party apps and not through Facebook itself. The default permissions that Facebook gives to those third parties currently include data from your education and work, current city and posts on your timeline. “We’re asking Facebook to change its policies to ensure third parties can’t access the information of the friends of people who use an app.” Mozilla says it will “consider returning” to advertising on Facebook when — or presumably if — the company makes adequate changes to bolster default privacy settings. “We are encouraged that Mark Zuckerberg has promised to improve the privacy settings and make them more protective. When Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps, we’ll consider returning,”…

Source: TechCrunch – Social Mozilla pulls ads off Facebook over data access concerns