#CancelFacebook is trending this Wednesday morning, August 10, and the reason is a MotherBoard report that revealed how Facebook shared private messages from a teen who had an abortion with the police. Now the 17-year-old girl and her mother are facing criminal charges in Nebraska (where abortion is illegal 20 weeks after pregnancy, unless the mother’s life is in danger).
The police apparently have requested, through a court in the United States, Facebook a report of the messages of this teenager, after receiving an anonymous report on how they would have buried the body of a premature baby.
There are several points that have generated alerts and disgust. The first is that for many the most recent case demonstrates the way in which women in the United States can be persecuted in cases of illegal abortion, as well as the amount of information that the authorities have access to courtesy of the platforms.
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Another point that bothers is how this evidence delivered by Facebook culminated in the police presenting an order to take their computers and cell phones to search for additional evidence.
Facebook has defended itself, claiming that the information it shared with police had no mention of abortion. The answer may seem strange, but it is his way of saying that his handling of data does not endanger women who today in the United States fear the persecution that the State may face if they decide to abort in a State where it is illegal to do so.
“The arrest warrants referred to charges related to a criminal investigation and court documents indicate that the police at the time were investigating the case of a dead baby that was burned and buried, not a decision to abort,” published the director of Meta communications, Andy Stone via dand his Twitter account. “These two orders were originally accompanied by nondisclosure orders, which prevented us from sharing information about them. The orders have now been lifted.”
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Of course, the problem goes deeper than this. What Meta has not responded to is how these types of cases highlight problems in its data collection and management policy. The fact that the company is able to share this information is a symptom of the problems it offers, especially when it comes to letting its users know what options they have.
In the case mentioned, the solution is simple: Facebook offers an option that allows you to activate End-to-End Encryption (E2EE), but this must be activated manually.
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