Over the last few weeks we’ve been blogging about the data “sharing” scandal that has rocked Facebook, and has lead to a boycott of the popular social media site, and sent CEO Mark Zuckerberg to face the music on Capitol Hill.
In case you’d missed the story (which you can read about here, here and here), Facebook estimated 87 million people globally, including 300,000 Australians, had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy firm used by US President Donald Trump in his 2016 election campaign.
Facebook has determined that the information was accessed by Cambridge Analytica through users’ use of the personality quiz app “This is Your Digital Life” – which then pulled in the data of the person taking the quiz, along with the data of all Facebook friends in their network.
It’s reported that only 53 Australians used the app – and when you think about how Facebook estimates 300,000 Australians have been affected by the breach, this is quite phenomenal. Australia’s Privacy Commissioner has launched an investigation, and we would expect they will be cooperating and coordinating with equivalent regulators around the world who are also taking action.
Facebook has now rolled out an online tool that lets users easily check if their data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica – which you can access here.
We’ll keep you updated on how Mr Zuckerberg’s testimony before US Congress goes – as well as the Australian Privacy Commissioner’s investigation into the breach.