March 30, 2018
FACEBOOK AND CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA
A virtual world with a very real money making data trail users of social media platforms unaware of how profitable the information they have is for those who are willing to access it.
The recent scandal involving Facebook, a powerhouse and a corporate giant for years now, which brought turmoil all across the globe may make many of us reconsider that such data breach can take place in any of the tech giants and our data that has been put onto the internet can be compromised. Here in case of Facebook, a data mining firm named Cambridge Analytica has been accused of misusing the data of millions of users.A whistleblower who worked at the British firm says the information was used to build a system which may have influenced the voters in the U.S presidential elections as well as other votes and how the company even had dealings with Russian interests.For some politicians, the advantages of using the information harvested from the social media can be used as a lure to try and get into the minds of the potential voters.Millions of Facebook users’ data was reportedly gathered by a university professor using a personality testing app named ‘This is your digital life’ while users gave their permission for information to be used by him and not only the users who used this app data was collected but even from their whole friends' network.It's alleged the data was then sold to a third party Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook's own policies but Cambridge Analytica denies doing anything wrong says it deleted all the records when it discovered how the data had been obtained from Facebook.
Facebook also denied that the data transfer was a breach. In addition, a spokesperson said “Protecting people’s information is the heart of everything we do and we require the same from people who operate apps from Facebook.And if reports are true then suitable actions will be taken against the accused”.Facebook also hired auditors to make sure the data has been destroyed, as Cambridge Analytica promised.
But as of the consequences, the Facebook share price fell almost 7 percent wiping nearly 40 billion dollars off its value. The company's chief of security Alex Thomas is reported to leave because of internal disagreements.The U.K Government sent a letter to Zuckerberg to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process.The Federal Trade confirms it is investigating Facebook.Now, Zuckerberg will testify before Congress to answer questions about how the data of 50 million users fell into the hands of Cambridge Analytica and how will it better safeguard users privacy in future.