Calls mount for Facebook to explain how it collects data on ‘insecure’ young people

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has come under pressure from a range of 25 non-governmental organizations, such as charities and privacy groups, to come clean on how it collects data on young people.

In a signed missive, the group demands to know precisely how Facebook directs advertisers to target young people following the leak of a 23-page document to The Australian, written on behalf of an advertiser, boasting that it could identify users who feel ‘worthless’ and ‘insecure’.

The incendiary report went on to claim that the tech giant collects sensitive data on people’s emotions, allowing them to pinpoint ‘mood shifts’ to allow advertisers to pounce when individuals are ‘at their most vulnerable’.

Facebook has already apologized for the document but this hasn’t gone far enough to assuage the fears of its critics, who are now demanding Facebook comes clean on the extent of its activities amidst suspicion that it is infringing on user privacy.

In the letter the 25 international organisations wrote: “Facebook's statement on the matter does not resolve issues of concern about the commissioned analysis, its purpose and what it says about Facebook's actual advertising practices."

Facebook has come under pressure to be more transparent in the way it does business following stratospheric growth, which now sees it and Google pull in one-fifth of global ad revenue.