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87M Facebook users affected by Cambridge Analytica scandal, not 50M
- Up to 87 million people may have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, not 50 million as initially speculated.
- Facebook will be making changes in the coming months to better protect users’ private information.
- Starting on Monday, April 9, Facebook will send people a link to see what apps they use and the information they have shared with those apps.
Facebook: “Just kidding. It’s actually 87 million people who are affected by our data breach.”
By now, you probably know a thing or two about Cambridge Analytica: the British political consulting firm that not only worked with Trump’s presidential campaign team but also allegedly harvested millions of users’ Facebook data illegally to create targeted political ads for Trump. Facebook is in the hot seat right now because the company launched a quiz app back in 2014 which collected personal information and took no action after these data on tens of millions of users leaked. When the report first emerged, it was speculated that around 50 million users were affected by this breach. The true figure, however, is much more disturbing.
In a new blogpost today, Facebook explained that in fact, a whopping 87 million people are affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal: “In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people—mostly in the US—may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.” Indeed, that’s almost twice the initial figure. Though the damage is done, Facebook also announced that it will be making changes in the coming months to better protect users’ private information.
For instance, starting today, Facebook will need to approve all apps that request access to information such as check-ins, likes, photos, posts, videos, events and groups. The company will also no longer allow apps to ask for access to personal information such as religious or political views, relationship status, education and work history, etc. Further, the company will remove a developer’s ability to request data people shared with them if it appears they have not used the app in the last 3 months.
The company will also no longer allow apps to ask for access to personal information such as religious or political views.
Starting on Monday, April 9, Facebook will show people a link at the top of their News Feed so they can see what apps they use and the information they have shared with those apps. The company states, “People will also be able to remove apps that they no longer want. As part of this process we will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.”
The FTC has already begun a non-public investigation into Facebook, and Britain’s information regulators are currently assessing evidence obtained from their recent raid on Cambridge Analytica’s offices in London.