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Facebook and Cambridge Analytica – the road so far

In our latest articles we broadened out topics by introducing some of the most burning issues that are concerning online media about safety and security on social media, and this time we would like to add our own thoughts of the Facebook link to Cambridge Analytica scandal so far.

What we know until now, that the issue is a serious breach of trust, and a top story to talk about. In the past few days, Facebook has just lost over $60 billion in market value, which caused a huge disrupt in investor’s mindset about the company.

Facebook had to face revelations that personal data of 50 million users was obtained and used by British data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, who reportedly helped Donald Trump win the US presidency back in 2016. It turned out how poorly Facebook handles people's private information, and as a result, people are quite angry.

The story started years ago when Aleksandr Kogan approached researcher Michal Kosinski to get Facebook users data which he had collected using a simple ‘online personality quiz’ app that requires users to log in using Facebook to participate.

Cambridge Analytica paid the researcher over $800,000 to create a similar quiz app for collecting Facebook users’ profile data, including the list of pages they have liked, and also it collected information on the users’ friends, so in the end, the data of 50 million people were at Cambridge Analytica’s hand.

Unfortunately, there are other thousands of other apps work on the same model, such as "how you’ll look in your 80s," "which celebrity you look like" etc. ‘Login with Facebook’ option also works similarly by allowing site admins to use your details of identity for themselves.

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Apologized, but will it be enough? Zuckerberg acknowledged that it was a huge mistake to allow third-party developers to access users’ data and blindly. He pledged to solve all the problems and safeguard users’ privacy.

Some believe that stricter government regulations are required to protect consumers’ privacy over social media companies, and the EU is already ahead of the problem by implementing the new GDPR regarding companies.

Facebook is in trouble with governments across the world after the scandal. The European Commission has asked data protection authorities to investigate Facebook's data leak, and if the commission finds Facebook in breach of data protection laws, it could levy fines on the company.

In the meantime, if you want to disable apps from accessing your data, you can follow these steps:

  • On the desktop computer, select Settings and Apps from the menu on the top right. Here you’ll see all the apps where you have logged into Facebook. You can erase them at any time.

  • On mobile devices, open the menu (bottom-right for iOS, top-right for Android), and then select Settings/ Account Settings/ Apps/ Logged in with Facebook. Here, revoke access of apps if necessary.


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