Could the information of users be at risk of a breach in the latest Facebook scandal? The Guardian claims the social network platform known as Facebook, could be involved in a data breach scandal where users’ profile information is being captured without consent. It was reported that the information of over 50 million profiles was used to impact the 2016 US election results.
The scandal began a few years ago after the development of the app “thisisyourdigitallife” by Aleksander Kogan in 2015. The Britain-based firm owner, Robert Mercer, claimed the company (Cambridge Analytica) was able to analyze data from consumers such as social media platforms like Facebook and marketing campaigns for those in political office. The company is capable of changing “audience behavior” and offers these services to certain businesses in the industry.
Originally, the app was created to be a personality quiz to help psychologists with research on individuals involved. Krogan claims there was a deal signed between Cambridge Analytica and his firm on sharing of the information.
Almost 300,000 registered users partook in a paid study for the personality test; all of which, their information was harvested by the company. Participants had no knowledge that the app was collecting and storing their personal Facebook information without their consent. The app was allegedly being used to store information regarding the behavior of voters during the time of the 2016 election.
A former worker from Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie, noted that the entire company was based upon this scandal. Wylie exposed the company for exploiting the information of millions of profiles through social media. He claimed the company was looking to find any information they could and at any cost. The subscribers of this test were taken advantage of, by giving the company access to their contacts and profile on Facebook without full consent and knowledge.
Currently, Cambridge Analytica claims all of the user data was removed and deleted from the system once the app was removed from Facebook in 2015. There are reports of the information still being out there somewhere, however, the company denies these claims.
Cambridge Analytica denied all claims of deception, noting that the company was fully in compliance with Facebook service terms. The company has also rejected all claims that the data was used in the 2016 electoral campaign. Trump also denied any involvement in the scandal, refusing reports of data being used in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Although Facebook claimed being deceived by the firm, the social media platform is being highly blamed and criticized for allowing this breach of security to happen. Experts report the need for a more effective practice in giving third-parties any access to data.
Dr. Kogan was accused of lying about how the information was to be used. Facebook’s Chief of Security was given a statement that the data had not all been deleted and they are moving forward with the investigation to find out if these accusations are correct. If found that the data has not been completely removed, the trust of the firm will be completely lost.
Senate Judiciary Committee member reported that the breach had a huge impact on the users of social media. It’s important for users to know what information was breached and how it all happened. The real questions are how was this able to happen for this long and who had the knowledge of it happening. Social media users need to be more informed of what they are permitting a third-party to be given. Facebook has been failing the protection of its users.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will need to testify upon the investigation of the scandal and someone will need to take responsibility for how this breach was initiated, as well as how the results of the elections could have been tampered with during this breach.