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Recode Daily: Facebook may be facing yet another potential privacy scandal

Plus: Women being Photoshopped into a company photo and a scooter company buying a rival.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s F8 developer conference standing onstage in front of a screen reading, “New ways to interact privately.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at F8 in 2019.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Internal Facebook emails seem to show CEO Mark Zuckerberg played a role in questionable privacy practices. The Wall Street Journal reports Facebook is worried that emails from Zuckerberg and other employees, which the FTC obtained as part of a probe, will provoke even more criticism of the company’s approach to user privacy if they’re shared publicly. “Facebook is operating under a 2012 consent decree with the agency related to privacy, and the emails sent around that time suggest that Mr. Zuckerberg and other senior executives didn’t make compliance with the FTC order a priority,” the Journal reports.
[John D. McKinnon, Emily Glazer, Deepa Seetharaman, and Jeff Horwitz / Wall Street Journal]

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The two women in this photo of a bunch of tech executives were Photoshopped into it.

GQ via BuzzFeed

When BuzzFeed News reporter Ryan Mac spotted a photo in the lifestyle magazine GQ featuring several prominent tech executives on a trip to Italy to visit designer Brunello Cucinelli, something about the appearance of the two women CEOs in the image didn’t seem right. After Mac investigated, Cucinelli’s spokesperson admitted that the two women had been added into the group photograph. “For some, the photograph, more a cheapfake than a deepfake, was the perfect encapsulation of the tech industry, where issues around diversity are just an image problem that can be solved with a quick fix,” BuzzFeed News wrote.
[Ryan Mac / BuzzFeed News]

Facebook isn’t taking down a creepy deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg. The company, which previously refused to take down a doctored video of House speaker Nancy Pelosi that had been edited to make her seem drunk, also doesn’t plan to remove a fake video of its CEO uploaded to Instagram. In the fake video clip, a deepfake version of Zuckerberg says sinister things like, “I wish I could keep telling you that our mission in life is connecting people. But it isn’t. We just want to predict your future behaviors.” When Vice first reported on the existence of the fake video, it wrote that it would test Facebook’s earlier claim that “if someone posted a manipulated video of Zuckerberg like the one of Pelosi, it would stay up.” Looks like we have an answer.
[Samantha Cole / Motherboard]

Scooter company Bird acquired another scooter company, Scoot. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bird, which is valued at $2.3 billion, bought Scoot for less than half of the $70 million valuation the scooter startup had two years ago. This acquisition gives Bird a way to put scooters back in San Francisco; last summer, when the city of San Francisco kicked Bird and several other scooter operators out of the city, it granted operating permits to Scoot and another scooter startup called Skip.
[Marc Vartabedian and Katie Roof / Wall Street Journal]

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