Facebook Data Breach Hit 87m Users, Not 50m - Sundiata Tech

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Facebook Data Breach Hit 87m Users, Not 50m

Facebook said it believes the data of about 87 million users of users on its platform were harvested without authorisation by Cambridge Analytica. The new number is 37 million more than the 50 million earlier quoted by whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

BusinessDay learnt that Facebook users in the United States accounts for over 70 million (about 97 percent) of the data breach while 16 million of the total number of users affected came from other countries including Philippines, UK, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil, Vietnam and Australia.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, disclosed this during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, 4 April 2018.

The Facebook chief said has accepted responsibility for the hijacking of private user data and other abuses.

“Today, given what we know, I think we understand that we need to take a broader view of our responsibility,” Zuckerberg said. “That we are not just building tools, but that we need to take full responsibility for the outcomes of how people use those tools as well.”

He also disclosed that an internal audit carried out by Facebook uncovered malicious actors abusing a feature that let users search for one another by typing in email addresses or phone numbers into Facebook’s search box. The facility has been blocked.

Further revelation by Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer in a blog post, showed that an estimated 305,000 people had installed the This is Your Digital Life quiz app created by Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge researcher.

Schroepfer detailed new steps Facebook as taken in the wake of the scandal. The steps include stopping access of apps using the Events API to access guest list or posts on the event wall. In the future, only apps that agree to strict requirements approved by Facebook will be allowed to use the Events API.

Second, all third-party apps using the Groups API will need approval from Facebook and an admin to ensure they benefit the group. Apps will no longer be able to access the member list of a group. And we are also removing personal information, such as names and profile photos, attached to posts or comments that approved apps can access.

Businessday.

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