Facebook’s Data Dump

What’s Going On Here?

The world’s most popular social media site has been sharing our information with private companies with huge consequences. 

 

What Does This Mean?

Facebook allow third-party companies to create apps for the site (like games and quizzes). In return, the apps developers are allowed access to the private information of their users. For a long while, facebook would also give them all of the private information of your friends too! In this case, a developer made a “personality quiz”. They then went on to share all the data that they harvester with a private data analytics firm, who were working on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. All in all, they managed to collect data from over 71 million people!

 

Why Should Firms Care?

While they have taken a huge hit to their stock price and their reputation, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s CEO) has said that they themselves did nothing wrong. Their terms state that any data being gathered is only allowed to be used for academic studies and not for political or commercial activities (like the voter profiling that Cambridge Analytica were using it for). 

Cambridge Analytica, however, have not been so lucky. They have just been named in a class action lawsuit (where a group of people in a similar position sue as one entity). The claim is the first US class action involving British citizens (represented by London-based data specialists, McCue and Partners). 

While social media sites are trying harder to protect their privacy of their users, many think that there needs to be stronger government legislation on the matter. In the UK, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is about to be implemented which tries to address a lot of these issues. 

Keeps a look out for our article on the GDPR coming soon.

 

 

Article written by Idin S.

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