A recent topic in the news has been Cambridge Analytica, a company that had data for millions of Facebook users, despite most never approving their data being collected this way. It took some time, but Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has finally commented on the story, admitting Facebook made mistakes. According to him though, "the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago." This is a reference to changes in the Facebook developer platform policies made in 2014, but it was prior to this the 'thisisyourdigital life' app that collected the data was made and used. The app was made by a university academic Aleksandr Kogan and it paid some 300,000 users to take a personality test and have their data collected for academic use. The way the numbers went from 300,000 users to 50 million users is because the app also collected data on the friends of the approving 300,000.
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook learned of Kogan sharing the collected data with Cambridge Analytica, and the company reacted by banning the app and demanding both Kogan and Cambridge Analytica delete all of the improperly acquired data. While both provided certifications that they had deleted the data, it appears Cambridge Analytica did not, which has prompted the current controversy and Facebook to respond by promising to do more to protect users' data.
Part of the response is going to be an audit of all apps that had access to large amounts of data prior to the 2014 changes, and any developer that does not agree to the audit will be banned. Also developers will lose access to a user's data if they have not used the app for three months, and users will have a tool at the top of the News Feed indicating the apps they have used and a means to revoke permissions to the data. The amount of data an app can get when you sign in will also be reduced to just your name, profile photo, and email address.
Source: The Inquirer
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