Cambridge Analytics Scandal May Have Affected Over 80 Million Users

article by Christina Williams
May 29, 2018
Facebook claims that 87 million users may have had their information harvested by Cambridge Analytica. The announcement adds 30 million more users to the amount The New York Times reported earlier this year. The new amount was revealed in a blog post uploaded by the company. The post, written by Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, details the tech giant’s plans to restrict the APIs that allow developers to access the service and pull data from it.  

The social media networking is working to fix its image with the general public after condemnation for its privacy issues. The company also said that it will let users know if their information was shared with Cambridge Analytica. Users will also be told what information was shared.

Another change is Facebook’s decision to discontinue developers’ ability to use Events API to access guest lists on event pages. Third-party developers, who use the Groups API, will also have o get permission from Facebook to make sure that their actions are beneficial to the group.

“Apps will no longer be able to access the member list of a group. And we’re also removing personal information, such as names and profile photos, attached to posts or comments that approved apps can access,” writes Schroepfer.

The social network is also renovating its opt-in call log feature. Moving forward, Facebook will restrict the feature so that collected information is deleted after one year. The restriction comes after the company faced outrage for scanning and deleting messages without permission.

One of the most drastic changes involved is Facebook’s decision to cut off app access after three months of user inactivity. The tech giant also claims that it will not allow apps to asks for personal information, like education, work history, political affiliation, and other personal interests. Developers fear that the move will make it harder for them to better their products and remain relevant in their consumers’ lives.

Facebook is also disabling the collection of user follower lists and comments on public content. Users will not be able to put in a user’s phone number or email address to find them on the platform.

Cambridge Analytica is still disputing its involvement in the Facebook scandal.

“Cambridge Analytica licensed data for no more than 30 million people from GSR, as is clearly stated in our contract with the research company. We did not receive more data than this,” the company said. “We did not use any GSR data in the work we did in the 2016 US presidential election. Our contract with GSR stated that all data must be obtained legally, and this contract is now a matter of public record. We took legal action against GSR when we found out they had breached this contract.”

The firm is adamant in its stance and is currently undergoing a third-party audit to prove that it is not holding on to harvested data. No word on when results from the audit report will surface.


Source: The Verge