Up to 87 million people affected by Facebook data leak

Mark Zuckerberg on stage at Facebook's F8 Conference data leak scandal
87 million people have had their data leak through the social media platform. Photo by Maurizio Pesce via Wikimedia Commons

Over 300,000 Australians could have had their data exposed and mistreated as a part of the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal. Facebook has reported that up to 87 million people could be affected which is a considerable increase from the 50 million that was previously mentioned to the public.

The new developments into the case emerged as the US Congressional officials stated that the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg will be testifying on April 11th. Facebook has also unveiled a new privacy policy that aims to uncover how the data that the company gathers is used. It does not however change what data they collect and share to third parties.

Throughout the entire course of the scandal, Cambridge Analytica have denied doing anything wrong. They stick with their story that they performed everything in good faith and have mined data in a similar fashion that other third parties have.

The quiz app was reported to be downloaded by approximately 270,000 people. From there the app crawled the through the users friend group to obtain the additional data. While most of the affected users resided in the US; the Philippines, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, India, Vietnam and Australia were also among the list of countries whose user’s data was breached.

To combat the growing concern of their data, Facebook is implementing new strategies to regain the trust of their user base. The option to view how apps interact with your profile and data is starting to be introduced. You will now have the chance to delete any apps that you no longer want to share your personal information with. Users that data has likely been leaked by Cambridge Analytica will automatically receive a notification about the privacy changes.

Additional to users being able to control the apps, Facebook is also restricting the access that apps can obtain about their users. Events, groups they belong to and their members will no longer be allowed to be gathered. The ability to search for a user through a mobile phone number and email address is also being removed from the social media platform.

While many users may use the email address and phone number option to search for friends, Facebook mentioned that business that have access to client phone numbers and email addresses were able to collect data about their client base.

The next saga of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal will develop over the next couple of weeks, where Mark Zuckerberg with be testifying about the scandal and Facebook’s role in the turn of events.