Ukraine Passes Anti-Money Laundering Law based on FATF

Ukraine Passes Anti-Money Laundering Law based on FATF

The Government of Ukraine has passed the final version of a money laundering law based on the guidelines provided by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The law will handle virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). 

The Rada, Ukraine’s legislative body published the final version of the law on December 6 that counts virtual assets as a symbol of wealth while also considering its potential use in financial crimes like money laundering, frauds, terrorist financing, tax evasion, etc. 

The new law contains guidelines on the ways the government intends to monitor and control the trading of cryptocurrencies. The guidelines center on unique crypto transactions worth less than 30,000 hryvni ($1300) from which the government will only collect the public key of the sender for the purpose of financial monitoring. 

If the transaction exceeds that amount, verification will be applied to both the sender and the receiver. The verification process will include identity verification as well as the verification of the nature and business of the relationship. 

For virtual asset service providers, the limit is 40,000 hryvni ($1600). In which case, the VASPs should present information to the authorities whenever such traders are registered in the jurisdiction that do not comply with anti-money laundering regulations. 

Binance, a major global crypto exchange, is reportedly collaborating with Ukrainian officials to build cryptocurrency-related legislation in the country. The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and Binance signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly work on the legal status of cryptocurrencies. The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), said in November that in order to bring positive growth in the economy and to attract additional investments, legalization of cryptocurrencies and the adoption of progressive legislation can play a key role. 

The Ministry and Binance intend to form a working group as part of the agreement which will be focused on the strategy of blockchain implementations as well as the production of “new virtual assets and virtual currencies market in Ukraine.”

EU Confirms its Firm Stance on All Digital Currencies

EU Confirms its Firm Stance on All Digital Currencies

The EU has confirmed its firm stance on all the digital currencies until the associated risks have been adequately assessed. 

In a joint statement by the Council of the European Union and the European Commission (EC), it was announced that although digital currencies provide a much faster way of payments, they provide far more risks and challenges. 

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) approved the statement on December 5 based on the data in an official document released in late November. 

For now, it’s not clear whether the newly released statement would affect any further course of action or would become the basis of future laws and regulations. 

In the statement released, several threats associated with the adoption of digital currencies are outlined. The statement reads, 

“These arrangements pose multifaceted challenges and risks related for example to consumer protection, privacy, taxation, cybersecurity, and operational resilience, money laundering, terrorism financing, market integrity, governance, and legal certainty. [..] These concerns are likely to be amplified and new potential risks to monetary sovereignty, monetary policy, the safety and efficiency of payment systems, financial stability, and fair competition can arise.”

According to the joint statement, the risks associated with the stablecoins should be mitigated before allowing them in the EU. 

“No global ‘stablecoin’ arrangement should begin operation in the European Union until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks have been adequately identified and addressed.”

Several nations are thinking of introducing their own digital currencies. Yesterday, the governor of the central bank of France announced the bank’s plans to introduce its own digital currency in the first quarter of 2020.

EU Takes First Step to Set Up Anti-Money Laundering Supervisor

EU Takes First Step to Set Up Anti-Money Laundering Supervisor

The European Union should contemplate creating an independent agency to supervise anti-money laundering compliance, the bloc’s finance ministers said Thursday. 

The finance ministers have urged the executive arm of the EU to evaluate and develop legislative proposals to establish a new supervisory body. 

In the EU, anti-money laundering supervision is largely handled on a country-by-country basis in the EU rather than through one central agency. 

The push by the finance ministers comes amid a plethora of allegations of weak internal control at some of the largest banks in the region. In a July report, the European Commission accepted that this fragmentation is the cause of the increased criminal activity in the financial system. 

A statement issued by the Council of the European Union, comprising of the bloc’s finance ministers said that the commission should explore the “possibilities, advantages and disadvantages” of creating an independent, EU-level body. The council also asked for more inclusive harmonization of anti-money laundering regulations across all the member states. 

A critical issue in the topic of a central agency for anti-money laundering is the level of authority an EU-level body should have. On Thursday, representatives from several countries raised their concerns about proposals that could limit the power of national supervisors.

Kaja Tael, permanent representative of Estonia to the EU, said 

“National authorities have a lot to offer—they have the local know-how, the ability to react quickly. But international cooperation needs to be improved.”

France to Test Digital Currency in the First Quarter of 2020

France to Test Digital Currency in the First Quarter of 2020

The digital currency race is building up and every country wants to take part in it. Now, Banque De France, France’s central bank, has announced plans to begin testing the digital currency in the first quarter of 2020. 

According to AFP, pressure from Facebook’s Libra and related initiatives is the reason for this quickened timetable. 

According to Francois Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the central bank, digital currency is a point of focus for the bank. 

“We want to start running experiments rapidly and will launch a call for projects before the end of the first quarter of 2020.”

Villeroy spoke at a finance conference in Paris and said he is eager to support the use of CBDC in order to settle financial assets between the financial companies. 

“We have to make our contribution to this innovation, but in a serious and methodical way…I see an advantage in quickly moving forward to issue at least a wholesale central bank digital currency in order to be the leading issuer in the world and thus reap the benefits of having a benchmark CBDC.”

France is among several countries, including the US and China and some African countries that are experimenting with digital currencies.


Instagram is Adding Age Verification to Protect Minors

Instagram is Adding Age Verification to Protect Minors

Instagram is adding age verification in order to provide a safer online community to the minors. This step is added to ensure that all Instagram users are over the official age limit of 13 years old. 

Age verification measure ensures that going forward, every user will have to enter their date of birth to create a new account. If a user has a connected Facebook account, the date of birth on that platform will be used on Instagram as well, or it can be directly added on Instagram. 

Age verification measure ensures that going forward


The added birthday will not be visible to a user’s followers like it does on Facebook. Instagram revealed in a blog post that the date of birth will be used to ‘create more tailored experiences, such as education around account controls and recommended privacy settings for young people.

Age verification processes have become quite common in recent years because of the numerous regulations like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. According to this act, websites, apps, and social media platforms are not allowed to ask children under 13 any personal data without parental consent. But with this new measure, Instagram is excluding everyone under 13 from their platform altogether. 

Instagram is also restricting who can send direct messages to whom. Instagram users can now opt to receive messages and get added to group threads only by the people they follow. This shows that the app is true to its commitment to creating a safer, less pressurized experience for its users. 

Instagram is also restricting who can send direct messages to whom.



EU to Investigate Google and Facebook’s Data Collection Practices

EU to Investigate Google and Facebook’s Data Collection Practices

The European Union has begun preliminary investigations into the data collection practices of Google and Facebook. The investigations are done to evaluate whether the two US tech firms are complying with the EU rules in the region.  

A spokesperson for the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, told CNBC via email on Monday that ‘The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google’s and Facebook’s data practices. These investigations concern the way data is gathered, processed, used and monetized, including for advertising purposes.’

According to the spokesperson, the preliminary investigations are on-going. EU has previously investigated Google which has resulted in more than €8bn (£6.8bn) of fines. Google Shopping was investigated in 2017 which resulted in a fine of €2.4bn. In 2018, Google’s Android smartphone operating system involved anticompetitive practices and it resulted in a fine of €4.3bn. In 2019, due to advertising violations, Google was charged with a €1.5bn fine. These new investigations show that the EU isn’t done probing into Google. 

A spokesperson for Google told CNBC, “We use data to make our services more useful and to show relevant advertising, and we give people controls to manage, delete or transfer their data. We will continue to engage with the Commission and others on this important discussion for our industry.”

A Facebook spokesperson told CNBC via email on Tuesday, “Data helps us tailor our apps and services so each person’s experience is unique and personalized.” The spokesperson also added that Facebook is fully cooperating with the EU and are happy to answer any questions they might have.  

EU has previously investigated Amazon to figure out whether the e-retailer was complying with European rules on handling data from independent retailers. 

Margrethe Vestager, who is the EU’s competition chief, has led a wider crackdown on how tech giants operate across the 28 EU member states. She has urged Ireland to collect 13 billion euros ($14.34 billion) in unpaid taxes from Apple, fined Google in a number of cases and accused Facebook of misleading EU regulators over its takeover of WhatsApp. 

Homeland Security Wants Facial Recognition For All Entering or Leaving US

Homeland Security Wants Facial Recognition For All Entering or Leaving US

The federal government is considering changing airport security in a major way. Facial recognition technology is being used everywhere from our iPhones to CCTV cameras in the streets. The technology is also being used for years for non-US citizens arriving in the states but it has not been a requirement for the US citizens up til now. 

But now the Homeland Security wants to expand the use of facial recognition technology for anyone entering and leaving the US. In a recent filing, the DHS proposed amending existing regulations “to provide that all travelers, including US citizens, may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure” from the United States, such as at airports.

Director of entry/exit policy and planning at the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Hardin, told CNN Business that for now, the rule is in the ‘final stages of clearance’. But since it hasn’t been cleared yet, the rule won’t go into effect until after a period of public comment. 

Facial recognition technology has become ubiquitous in recent years with technology becoming remarkably common in airports throughout the world. DHS has to roll out facial recognition technology to the 20 largest airports of the US by 2021. A spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection said the agency ‘will ensure that the public has the opportunity to comment prior to the implementation of any regulation and the agency was ‘committed to its privacy obligations.’ 

Bank of Ghana to Introduce Digital Currency in ‘Near Future’

Bank of Ghana to Introduce Digital Currency in ‘Near Future’

The Governor of the West African nation’s central bank, Ernest Addison, announced the news of Ghana’s plans of digital currency at an annual banking conference last week. Addison said that the central bank is in discussion with ‘key stakeholders’ to explore a digital currency pilot project ‘with the possibility of issuing an e-cedi in the near future’. 

The CBDC pilot initiative is in accordance with the country’s efforts to digitize the financial and banking sector. Through this effort, the electronic payment systems in Ghana such as mobile banking can grow and enhance. Mobile money transaction statistics, for instance, increased to 1.4 billion last year as compared to 982 million in 2017 according to Addison. He added, 

“The digital age provides enormous potential for the financial sector to re-orient itself to satisfy the new consumer and business demands for financial services.”

Addison also announced that the country’s largest bank in terms of total operating assets, Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB Bank) has been authorized to issue e-money. 

Africa is seeing a surge in cryptocurrency with 64 blockchain and cryptocurrency firms available across the continent. These include 11 sub-categories including exchanges, wallets according to research from The Block Crypto. 

China Makes Facial Recognition Mandatory For Smartphone Users

China Makes Facial Recognition Mandatory For Smartphone Users

China is making it mandatory for all smartphone users who register new SIM cards to submit to facial recognition scans. The new rule went into effect on Sunday across the entire country. 

The guidelines first announced in September require telecom companies to deploy ‘artificial intelligence and other technical methods’ in order to verify the identities of people registering SIM cards. Physical stores across the entire country had time until December 1 to begin implementing the new rules.  

The Ministry of Industry and Information described the measure as a way to ‘protect the legitimate rights and interest of citizens in cyberspace’. Through mandatory requirements, Chinese mobile phone and internet users are extremely easier for the government to track. 

Already mobile phone users are obligated to register SIM cards through their identity cards or passports. Since last year, many telecoms had already begun scanning the customers’ faces. A number of social media platforms in China also require users to sign up with their ‘real identities’ through their phone numbers.

The increasing use of facial recognition in China has raised a lot of privacy concerns about information security and consent. Facial recognition is being used from middle schools to concert venues and public transport. 

Last month, the country’s first lawsuit was filed by a professor against the use of facial recognition. Guo Bing, a professor at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University claimed that a safari park in Hangzhou violated the country’s consumer rights protection law by scanning his face and taking his personal data without his consent. 

In September, China’s Education Ministry announced that it would ‘curb and regulate’ the use of facial recognition after parents became angry at the facial recognition software installed without their consent at a university in Nanjing to monitor the attendance of students and focus during class. 

Big giant tech companies in China are writing standards for the UN regarding facial recognition and video monitoring. Human rights advocates considered the measure as another step towards ‘dystopian surveillance state’. 

Chinese Tech Groups Shaping UN Facial Recognition Standards

Chinese Tech Groups Shaping UN Facial Recognition Standards

Leaked documents reveal that Chinese tech giants are developing the United Nations’ standards for facial recognition and video monitoring, reported by Financial Times. Amongst those proposing new international standards are telecommunications equipment maker ZTE, security camera maker Dahua Technology, and the state-owned Chinese telecommunication company China Telecom. The new standards are being proposed in the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for facial recognition, video monitoring, city, and vehicle surveillance, according to the Financial Times report. 

Standards sanctioned in the Geneva-headquartered ITU which has 193 member states are very often adopted as policies by developing nations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In these regions, the Chinese government has agreed to supply infrastructure and surveillance tech under its ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. 

By writing the standards, companies are able to craft the regulations to fit the specifications of their own exclusive technology which in turn gives these companies an edge in the market. 

The Chinese influence in international standards-setting bodies such as ITU and ISO has progressed in recent years as their global ambition enhances. ITU standards are highly influential in setting the rules in African countries as they don’t have the means to develop rules themselves. These standards take around two years to be drafted and adopted. As the Chinese tech companies seek to improve their facial recognition especially for people of color, data from African countries is extremely important to them. The Chinese government considers writing standards as a means of accelerating its AI leadership ambitions.

The proposals currently under discussion at the ITU have been criticized by human rights lawyers as crossing the line from technical specifications to policy recommendations. The standards being proposed by the ITU do not do enough to protect consumer privacy and data. 

Google Warns 12,000 Victims of Government Hacks

Google Warns 12,000 Victims of Government Hacks

In just three months, from July to September 2019, Google sent out 12,000 warnings to people who were suspected of being targeted by a government-backed hacking attempt. Google’s Threat Analysis Group revealed in a blog post that during the three months from July to September this year, users across 149 countries were warned that they were targeted by government-backed attackers. The majority of the users were in America and 90% were targeted with phishing emails that were trying to steal the login details for Google accounts of users. 

Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) serves to counter targeted and government-backed hacking against Google and its users. According to Google, the data was consistent with the number of warnings sent in the period of 2018 and 2017. This meant that the nation-state hackers didn’t step up their level of attacks. 

The Threat Analysis Group has been tracking numerous government-sponsored hackers, most prominently a group called Sandworm. The US government considers Sandworm a Russian-backed crew that was responsible for the catastrophic NotPetya ransomware attacks of 2017. In November 2018, Sandworm was targeting Android users. 

High-risk users like journalists, human rights activists, and political campaigns are advised by Google to use their Advanced Protection Program (APP). It bundles secret keys onto USB and Bluetooth devices that the user connects to their device after entering the password for their Google account. The hacker has to have access to that physical key to get access to that account even if they have the login password. An average user can also use that same kind of protection who is particularly concerned about their privacy and security. 

DC is the Latest State to Sue Juul over Targeting Minors

DC is the Latest State to Sue Juul over Targeting Minors

The District of Columbia is now the latest state to sue c-cigarette maker, Juul Labs, saying the company’s online ads and promotions illegally targeted minors. 

The District of Columbia is following other states in suing e-cigarette maker Juul Labs, saying Juul deceived consumers about the potent nicotine levels carried in its flavored pods. The lawsuit also alleges that Juul failed to satisfactorily verify customers’ ages before selling e-cigarettes through its website. 

The lawsuit was announced Tuesday by the Attorney General of Washington DC, Karl Racine, alleging that Juul’s viral marketing contributed to a sudden increase in underage vaping by teens in Washington and across the US. 

The lawsuit follows other similar lawsuits filed by California, North Carolina, and New York. Other states are also investigating Juul which is currently dominating the US vaping market. The company also faces other charges from the FDA, Congress and other federal regulators. 

Due to numerous lawsuits and intense pressure, Juul has discontinued its advertising in the US and stopped sales of all but two of its flavors. In addition to this, the company suspended all their social media accounts and tightened age verification for their online sales.  

A spokesman of Juul said that the products of the company are only intended for adults and Juul is committed to combating underage vaping. 



$4.4 Billion Worth Cryptocurrency Stolen in 2019

$4.4 Billion Worth Cryptocurrency Stolen in 2019

The crypto analytics firm, CipherTrace released its Q3 2019 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Report which reveals that the cryptocurrency has lost a staggering $4.4 billion in thefts and hacks, so far this year. 

Damages from the crimes related to digital currency soared to $4.4billion in just the first nine months of the year which is up more than 150% from $1.7 billion in all of 2018. 

digital currency soared to $4.4billion


CipherTrace is a verified crypto and blockchain intelligence company and its third quarterly report for 2019 addresses “cryptocurrency regulation, nefarious actors within the ecosystem, impending legislation, international trends, and prevailing sentiments.” 

According to CipherTrace, an extensive investigation of the Know Your Customer (KYC) processes of digital currency exchanges and the investigation revealed striking results. About 65% of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges ‘lack strong KYC policies’. 

CipherTrace, an extensive investigation of the Know Your Customer (KYC) processes of digital currency exchanges


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published guidance for regulations regarding cryptocurrency on June 21, 2019. FATF is an intergovernmental association that is responsible for forming standards for legal, regulatory and operational measures in order to mitigate money laundering, terrorism financing, and other illicit activities. The guidance was published under the name of ‘Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers.’

The report released by CipherTrace reports that 

“With only seven months left for nations to pass laws and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to comply with the guidelines, the majority of exchanges are not equipped to handle basic KYC, let alone comply with the stringent new funds ‘Travel Rule’ included in the updated FATF guidance.”

According to the updated FATF guidance in the Travel rule, the virtual service providers (VASPs) are responsible for the secure transactions and keeping track of personally identifiable information (PII) of the senders and recipients of all transactions involving cryptocurrencies ‘values at or exceeding USD/EUR 1,000’.  

In order to satisfy the requirements of the Travel Rule, strict KYC procedures are required. Countries not following the FATF guidelines might be subject to “political ostracization, financial sanctions, and are added to a FATF blacklist, which documents countries that it judges ‘to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.’”

A number of crypto-asset exchanges have already delisted privacy coins but according to CipherTrace, 32% of the trading platforms are still listing privacy coins. Amongst this 32 %, there are those exchanges as well with ‘weak or porous KYC’. 

Swedish Bank SEB Accused of Money Laundering

Swedish Bank SEB Accused of Money Laundering

Investigations done by the news agency TT and broadcaster SVT revealed that 25 SEB clients recorded transactions with 18 corporate entities linked to the Magnitsky case. Tax lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in a Russian prison in 2009 after he accused Russian officials of siphoning money from the firm he was working for, Hermitage Capital. Hermitage Capital was the largest foreign investment fund in Russia at the time and Mr. Magnitsky accused the Russian tax officials of embezzling $230 million from the firm. 

Approximately 194 clients at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB are doubted using the bank to launder money through Swedish and Baltic accounts with about 474 million Swedish kronor ($49.4 million) connected with the Magnitsky case. 

The accusations come days after Australia’s Westpac bank was accused of 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations. Similar accusations were made at Swedbank and Denmark’s Danske Bank. The Danske Bank is being investigated on allegations that around $230 billion in dubious funds from Russia and other former Soviet states entered Europe through its branch in Estonia.

SEB Chief Executive Johan Torgeby told Reuters after SVT reported on the story, 

“In the comprehensive analysis that we have made of our business in the Baltics, we have not seen that SEB has been used for money laundering in a systematic way.”

Torgeby also talked about the actions required of this report and said, “The program showed us nothing new which we need to act on today.” 

SVT reported that the SEB client list contained ‘red flags’ – names associated with familiar proxies for Russian non-resident corporations suspected of money laundering. The report by SVT was based on a cache of leaked information provided by the Organized Crime and Corruption Project investigative reporting consortium. 

Providing past date, SEB showed that nonresident money flows in Estonia. In between 2005 and 2018, around 25.8 billion euros ($28.4 billion) moved in and out of its nonresident Estonian customer accounts related to low transparency customers. 

“These flows cannot be equated to confirmed money-laundering activities, but there is rather an increased risk for money laundering here,” the bank said.

SVT said its report was based on a cache of leaked information provided by the Organised Crime and Corruption Project investigative reporting consortium. 

Bank of England fines Citigroup £44m Over Poor Financial Information

Bank of England fines Citigroup £44m Over Poor Financial Information

The Bank of England has fined the UK branch of the US bank, Citigroup, a record £44m because the bank submitted incomplete and fallacious regulatory information to the Bank between 2014 and 2018.

According to the Bank of England, Citigroup didn’t come up to the expected standards between the above mentioned years and the problems were ‘serious and widespread in nature and the bank hadn’t presented an authentic picture of its monetary position. 

The Bank’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) fined the Citibank, which is responsible for monitoring the financial stability of about 1500 banks, building societies, credit unions, large investment firms and insurers in the UK. This is the biggest fine ever imposed by the Bank of England. 

According to the PRA, the bank’s systems were incompetent and Citi didn’t have enough people working for the regulatory accuracy, there was no proper documentation and that Citi’s failure and governance fell significantly below the standards expected’. The errors and oversights included ‘six substantive matters’, which is the reason for notable errors.

Citibank is a New-York based bank and is the third biggest bank in the US which has $2tn in assets and operations in 100 countries. It is considered as a global systematically important bank’

According to the PRA, 

“The pervasiveness of the errors and misstatements identified in the firm’s returns raised fundamental concerns about the effectiveness of Citi’s UK regulatory reporting control framework.”

Citibank would have faced a fine of £62.7m but since the bank cooperated with the PRA, it was given a 30% discount. It should be pointed out that Citi has better liquidity and capital requirements than the Bank demands at all times. 

Sam Woods, deputy governor for prudential regulation and chief executive of the PRA said,

“Accurate regulatory returns from firms are vital for the PRA in fulfilling our role. Citi failed to deliver accurate returns and failed to meet the standards of governance and oversight of regulatory reporting which we expect of a systemically important bank.”

Citibank has been extremely compliant with the PRA and the spokeswoman for Citi said, 

“Citi has fully remediated the past regulatory reporting issues identified by the PRA and settled this matter at the earliest possible opportunity.” 

Millions of Twitter and Facebook Users May Have Their Accounts Compromised

Millions of Twitter and Facebook Users May Have Had Their Accounts Compromised

Facebook and Twitter announced on Monday that the personal data of millions of users may have been improperly accessed after they used their social media accounts to log in to several Android apps, downloaded from the Google Play Store. 

Security researchers discovered that a mobile software development kit (SDK) named oneAudience gave third-party developers access to people’s personal data. This personal data includes email addresses. Usernames and most recent tweets of people who used their Twitter accounts to get access to such apps including Giant Square and Photofy. 

In a blog, Twitter informed the people of this gross misconduct and also said that this activity may make it possible for a hacker to take control of someone’s Twitter account but there is no evidence that this occurred. 

A Twitter spokeswoman, Lindsay McCallum said, 

“We think it’s important for people to be aware that this exists out there and that they review the apps that they use to connect to their accounts.”

Twitter also announced that it will be informing users who were affected. The company has also informed Google and Apple about the vulnerability so that further action can be taken. 

A Facebook spokesperson sent the following statement after the recent disclosure: 

“Security researchers recently notified us about two bad actors, oneAudience and Mobiburn, who were paying developers to use malicious software developer kits (SDKs) in a number of apps available in popular app stores. After investigating, we removed the apps from our platform for violating our platform policies and issued cease and desist letters against One Audience and Mobiburn. We plan to notify people whose information we believe was likely shared after they had granted these apps permission to access their profile information like name, email, and gender. We encourage people to be cautious when choosing which third-party apps are granted access to their social media accounts.”

This comes at a time when Facebook, Google, and Twitter are all facing heightened scrutiny from regulators concerning the use of personal data and its use by outside developers to track and target customers. The issue has been of particular concern ever since March 2018, ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Cambridge Analytica accessed up to 87 million Facebook profiles in order to target ads for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.  

A Facebook spokesperson told The Verge that the company encourages people “to be cautious when choosing which third-party apps are granted access to their social media accounts.” 

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