According to social media giant Facebook, the data firm Cambridge Analytica gained unauthorized access to 87 million users' data consisting of mostly profiles from the United States. This revelation nearly doubles the previously reported number of 50 million users. Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's chief technology officer shared the startling new figure in a blog post Wednesday that outlined several new changes coming to the platform to help users' data stay private.
"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," Schroepfer's blog post said. The blog also said that starting April 9, Facebook will give users the ability to see if their data was exposed to Cambridge Analytica. Why isn't Schroepfer talking about why Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to get the data?
Related coverage: <a href="http://thegoldwater.com/news/21339-Facebook-Scandal-Broadens-As-UK-Police-Raid-Cambridge-Analytica-Offices">Facebook Scandal Broadens As UK Police Raid Cambridge Analytica Offices</a>
Facebook previously created a well-hidden tool to tell users whether they'd interacted with Russian trolls in the past, as if that were some important feature people wanted. How about a feature that makes all personal information private and bars Facebook or any other company from profiting off it, or selling it without their consent? That seems like a much better resolution to the current data breach scandal.
Last month, it was reported that Cambridge Analytica and its British counterpart SCL harvested 50 million Facebook users through an app called "thisisyourdigitallife". The app offered personality quizzes along with all your data and data from many of your friends to the app developer. When the story first broke, Facebook acknowledged some 270,000 users had downloaded the app.
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/21363-Zuckerberg-Loses-More-Friends-As-Tesla-And-SpaceX-Join-DeleteFacebook">Zuckerberg Loses More Friends As Tesla And SpaceX Join #DeleteFacebook</a>
The CEO of the social media giant, Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week but he refuses to do the same for the UK Parliament. Zuckerberg said, "We didn't put out the 50 million number. That came from other parties. We wanted to wait until we had the full understanding. I'm quite confident it’s not more than 87 million."
Facebook's credibility of late has gone down the drain, this isn't the first time they have vastly underestimated figures to their benefit. Jonathan Albright, a research director at Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism said, "By tacking 37 million more people to an API-focused news update from the CTO, Facebook's willingness to obscure and bury key details about the inappropriate use of their platform continues."
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