Facebook Data Scandal and Breach of Trust

Most of us provide our personal information believing that those details are going to be confidential and in safe hands. But ever wondered what if those companies just shatter the trust you entrusted to them?

Recently did the world take notice of such a situation that too from not just a start-up, nor a mid-level company but from one of the leading companies around the globe. And the most interesting fact is that this so-called scandal was first learned by Facebook in 2015 prior to President Trump’s election in 2016.

What just happened?

Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm hired for President Trump’s 2016 election campaign, pilfered the data of 50 million Facebook users.

Mark Zuckerberg shared a post on March 21st wherein he said “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you”
Click here to read the entire post shared by him.

How was the data collected and how is it connected?

There was a Personality Quizzing App which was developed by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan from Cambridge in June 2014. Prof Kogan gathered the information of around 270,000 users who logged in by sharing the information and also their friends which equalled to 50 Million users. So basically, this information was gathered by finding a loophole in Facebook API.

The Cambridge Analytica vice president Steve Bannon had approached the two main conservative mega-donors Rebekah and Robert Mercer to fund the firm thereby mutually benefiting each other by sharing the collected information of 50 Million users to be used for Trump’s election campaign.

What are the steps taken by Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook has taken steps to prevent such attacks happening again. Also, they are in a process of conducting an intensive research reviewing thousands of app to avoid such a mistake again. Facebook is planning to notify and add a new section above the user’s news feeds so that the user is aware of which app is running behind and can take necessary action.

Watch the in-depth interview given by Mark to CNN

The Reality:

Almost all of us sign up for various apps using the Facebook account or any similar social apps so as to start using the app without the burden of typing of all the information again from scratch. But we never think twice whether our information is protected and are not being shared. Similarly, the Facebook and Analytica scandal is an eye opener for all of us to sit and ponder. Are we being cheated? Or are our information being leaked or shared with a third party?

Above all, such incidents increase the amount of doubt on credibility and trust one can put while sharing information with an app.

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