Cambridge Analytica Actually Collected Data From 87 Million People

Just when you thought the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal simmered down, Facebook revealed that millions more were affected by the data “breach”. The initial evaluation stated that the company had used information from 50 million Facebook users. In reality, 87 million accounts were affected.

In an effort to be as transparent as possible with the public, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer revealed that 35 million more accounts were used to help different campaigns under Cambridge Analytica’s watch. While the data was collected legitimately by researcher Aleksandr Kogan at the beginning, it did breach Facebook’s terms of service by sharing it with the digital consultancy firm. Personal info was then used to sway public opinion in the Trump and Brexit campaigns.

The sheer number of profiles collected and used is astounding and terrifying for users who value their right to privacy. That said, Cambridge Analytica disputed the number, trying to put out the fire.

Mark Zuckerberg and his company, on the other hand, have been more vocal lately, doing their best to regain users’ trust. Their efforts included public apologies in newspapers,  immediate countermeasures and a new update to spot fake news and the people who help spreading them. 

Of course, it wasn’t smooth sailing, what with Andrew Bosworth’ outrageous memo , Tim Cook’s press statements and the unexpected news that Android Messenger collects users’ call history.  But Mark Zuckerberg is ready to take the hits and learn from his mistakes, as he pointed out in a conference this week:

Life is learning from mistakes. At the end of the day, this is my responsibility. I started this place, I run it, I’m responsible

Therefore, Facebook will notify users if they are among victims of Cambridge Analytica on April 9. The company will not allow app developers to ask for personal information anymore. Plus, no one will be able to search for a specific Facebook profile by typing in the search bar a phone number or e-mail adress.

Is it enough to give them a second chance? Join the conversation below!

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