Facebook tries to move past scandals with new features


Mark Zuckerberg threatened with summons by British lawmakers probing Cambridge Analytica scandal

At Tuesday's F8 developer conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced the company is launching a dating feature.

People with accounts will now be able to view the websites and apps that are using the giant's software plugins to send their information back to Facebook. Most major dating apps - including Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, and even Feeld - require you to connect the app to your Facebook account in order to sign up for the service.

A spokesperson told Recode that while the data would no longer be linked to a profile, it may still be analysed as part of an anonymised, aggregated set. He added that the company has begun approving new apps after suspending the process in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Zuckerberg might touch on Facebook's year of privacy scandals, congressional testimony, Russian Federation investigations and apologies.

Facebook says the update may take time to implement as it will be working with privacy advocates, academics, policymakers and regulators to get their input on the best approach.

"After going through our systems, this is an example of the kind of control we think you should have".

Most dating apps make money by charging users for premium services, something Facebook might not have to do if it uses data from the apps to improve its advertising business.

Also, Zuckerberg said that Oculus Go, the company's first standalone VR headset, is now available in 32 countries for $199. That could mean reentering usernames and passwords as Facebook relearns user settings and preferences.

Mr. Zuckerberg may be traveling overseas to speak with members of the European Parliament this month, Politico reported last week, and Mr. Collins' committee "would like Mr. Zuckerberg to come to London during his European trip", his letter said.

Zuckerberg's appearance at the annual conference, called F8, caps a month during which he has tried to rebuild public trust in Facebook after a data privacy scandal. "We need to keep building and bring people closer together".

Facebook's newest feature could change the way online dating works.

Zuckerberg previously declined to come in person to answer questions from British lawmakers, instead sending Facebook's Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer to face a four-hour grilling last month.

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