This Is How You Know Cambridge Analytica Hacked Your Facebook

Find out on Monday if you’re a victim of one of the world’s largest data breaches

This Is How You Know Cambridge Analytica Hacked Your Facebook

by Lucy Morris |
Published on

On Monday 9th April some 87 million Facebook users will be notified by Facebook if their private data was comprised by Cambridge Analytica.

After weeks of leaning out, Cheryl Sandberg, the social media company’s Chief Operating Officer, spoke to America’s NPR (National Public Radio) about the incident that saw a UK-owned company covertly harvest information about users. ‘We know that we did not do enough to protect people's data. I'm really sorry for that, Mark's really sorry for that.’ She said.

Putting the users first, Sandberg announced that a notice at the top of your news feed will appear this coming Monday if your data has been handled by Cambridge Analytica. She revealed, ‘we're going to start rolling out to everyone in the world, right on the top of their news feed, a place where you can see all the apps you've shared your data with and a really easy way to delete them.

‘We're being much more restrictive, in the data apps are going to have access to. And just yesterday we announced further steps shutting down data access points in groups and events and pages, and search. And so we are in a process that is evaluating all the ways data is used.’

Though the platform took steps to change their privacy settings in 2015, the fact that the company had harvested the information by then meant that they could use it to help propel future political campaigns, such as that of the American 2016 election and Nigeria’s the previous year. Sandberg admits, ‘I think what we weren't good enough at doing is thinking in advance about the ways misuse could happen on a platform. And when we found things — and we did find things — we shut down that thing.’

In response, Facebook has said previously that they are keen to regulate the platform. ‘We're having conversations with regulators around the world, but we're not even waiting for regulation.’ She reiterated before later adding, ‘Should we have taken these steps years ago anyway? And the answer to that is yes. Like a very clear, a very firm, yes. We really believed in social experiences, we really believed in protecting privacy, but we were way too idealistic. We did not think enough about the abuse cases. And now we're taking really firm steps across the board.’

Until now the company has contritely taken responsibility for the breach, which was spearheaded by Cambridge Analytica releasing a personality quiz that required users to allow the business access to their data as well as their friends. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to attend a congressional hearing this coming week after refusing to testify in front of the UK’s parliament. In a statement after The Guardian’s whistleblower revealed the data breach, Zuckerberg failed to say the words ‘sorry’ or ‘apologies’, but did take responsibility, writing: ‘I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform.'

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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