The Cambridge Analytica scandal in a nutshell and is your Facebook data part of the breach?

By April 18, 2018Current

TL;DR – Not that we will stop using Facebook.

Chances are you’re reading this article on Facebook and if you haven’t already heard, some  87 million Facebook users were affected by the Cambridge Analytica data incident. This translates to possibly more than 65,000 Singapore Facebook users who could be affected.

What is the Cambridge Analytica data scandal about?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would probably have seen several articles in the last two weeks detailing this. But if you were too busy or couldn’t be bothered to find out more, then well, you probably should read on. In a nutshell, Cambridge Analytica is a voter profiling company and is said to have collected private information from over 50 million Facebook users without their permission, according to The New York Times. While the information wasn’t stolen per se – it was gathered via an app that asked for consent before accessing user data – the information was being used for a purpose that wasn’t transparently disclosed to users who were told that it was for “academic purposes”. The Facebook data was then sold to Cambridge Analytica.

So how do you know if your data was shared with Cambridge Analytica?

Facebook had previously announced that users would be receiving one of two notifications, informing them how to see which apps they use, and the data shared with those apps, either because you used the apps associated with the breach or one of your friends did.

Users affected by the Cambridge Analytica data breach will see the message pictured on the right at the top of their News Feed. Those unaffected will see the message pictured on the left.

Moving forward, now what?

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Facebook has announced new privacy and data controls. There’s also a revamped data policy and terms of service, as well as new data restrictions that put stricter controls on what information the developers behind third-party apps can access.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had also testified at a hearing before Congress where he was grilled for nearly 10 hours from almost 100 lawmakers.

In all, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has raised quite a few important questions such as the kind of information Facebook has and how is the social media giant using our data. These questions are actually addressed in the updated Data Policy and if you are interested, here’s how you can download a copy of everything Facebook knows about you:



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Flora Isabelle Lim

Author Flora Isabelle Lim

On a constant quest to be a really professional internet person.

More posts by Flora Isabelle Lim

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