NEWS5 April 2018

Facebook data scandal may have affected 87 million

Data analytics News North America Privacy Public Sector UK

US – Facebook has said that the personal data of up to 87 million users could have been improperly shared with data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, up from a previous media estimate of 50 million people.

Person holding phone with Facebook login screen

The majority of users whose data may have been shared improperly are based in the US, according to a blog post by Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer.

In the post, the company announced details of nine updates it is making following the Cambridge Analytica revelations, including changes to its events, groups and pages APIs

The company is restricting which personal data is accessible to app developers. All requests from third-party apps to access information such as check-ins, likes, photos and posts will now need to be approved by Facebook, and apps will no longer be able to ask for access to personal information such as religious and political views, relationship status, and education and work history.

The company will also add a link to the top of news feeds – appearing on 9 April – to make it easer for users to see what information has been shared with apps they use and remove apps they no longer want.

Last week, the company announced it was closing down its partner categories service, which uses third party data to inform targeted advertising.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, according to Reuters, said the company should have done more to oversee third-party app developers. “Knowing what I know today, clearly we should have done more.” He added the company is broadening the view of its responsibility.

Cambridge Analytica said in a statement yesterday ( 4 April) that it had not received data for more than 30 million people from research company GSR, and that this data was not used in its work for the US presidential election.


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