"A Breach of Trust"


Everything you post on FaceBook may not be as private as you think. Back in 2013, FaceBook allowed an outside researcher, Aleksandr Kogan of Cambridge University, to develop an app on the FaceBook platform that paid users to take a personality quiz. The app was installed by about 300,000 people who consented to sharing their data and unbeknownst to them sharing the data of all of their FaceBook friends. The researcher then provided the data — on over 50 million Facebook users — to Cambridge Analytica, a private firm founded by Stephen K. Bannon and that has ties to several political campaigns. This transfer of data to a third-party broke Facebook’s usage policies.

In 2015, Facebook found out about the violation and removed the app from their platform. They also demanded that Cambridge Analytica delete the Facebook user data they had improperly acquired.

However, earlier this month, FaceBook found out from The Guardian ,  The New York Times, and Channel 4 that Cambridge Analytica likely did not delete the data as they had previously claimed. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg responded yesterday by calling this a “breach of trust” and immediately banned Cambridge Analytica from using any of their services.

FaceBook is now promising tighter privacy controls some of which consist of investigating third-party FaceBook apps that have access to large amount of data, restricting apps blanket access to user data, and helping FaceBook users better understand what user data apps are requesting access to.

Will hearing this news change the way you use FaceBook or any other social media platform? Do you really consider things you post on social media private?