According to Facebook, Cambridge Analytica gained access to information of up to 87 million people. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO has however owned up to the mistake, stating that he would not fire the staff responsible for this breach. He said the company had not taken into account the responsibility they played in the scandal. He will appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee for questioning on April 11th.
The scandal refers to the IT service management company extraction of data from Facebook to influence the Brexit campaign and Donald Trump’s election. The figures aided in the building software program that both predicts and influences voters. The discovery came about in 2015,but Facebook failed to alert users of the same. It was the Observer that revealed the harvesting.
The breach took place when users took a personality test from an app called ‘This is Your Digital Life,’ consenting to have their data collected. The gathering did not end there; they were able to equally collect data from the friends of those who took a test. That is how Analytica was able to gain such a vast amount of statistics.The application is the brainchild of AleksandrKogan, a Cambridge University academic through his company Global Science Research. Analytica collaborated with Kogan to acquire the statistics.
The Chief Technology Officer, Mike Schroepfer in a blog post about improving information security stated the figure, revising it from the earlier stated 37 million. The post also outlined the changes in which third-party developers would interact with the platform to control how they interact and extract data from the social site. Zuckerberg later stated the changes in effect are in line with European standards of general data protection regulations. It will apply globally and not only to the specified region.
In that regard, developers will no longer access wall posts or guest lists to events scheduled. The same applies to data from Facebook groups. They can only do so once the group administrator, for example from a metal siding community, grants them permission and deems the developer beneficial to the group.
Developers also have to agree to strict requirements. Apps will have a harder time accessing information such as posts and photos, likes and check-ins. As a whole, these same apps won’t be able to access personal information typically displayed on a personal Facebook profile. Other data such as games, videos and news habits will not be available. Additionally, one cannot use a phone number or email address to search a person online. Data brokers such as Oracle and Experian are also getting cut off from targeting social network users through customer information they have. Given the scandal, this is only the logical move.