Facebook Cambridge Analytica What Happened and How to Protect your Data
By now you’ve probably heard or read something about a Facebook scandal that seems to have completely shaken not only the companies future but the future of privacy and security in technology as a whole. Lets take a look at what happened, What data Facebook has on you and what you can do to protect your data.
In 2014, a Cambridge University researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, created an App that was downloaded 270,000 times. Users gave their online facebook information to him and unbeknownst to the users, he sold their information to a political strategy/ data mining firm Cambridge Analytica. At the time, Facebook allowed Kogan to access Facebook profiles of his Users, but also all of their friend’s profiles as well. This is how he managed to collect such a high volume of profiles. Cambridge Analytica was then able to process the data, to see what users liked, what they were looking for, etc and better advertise to those users. This was then used by the Trump campaign to target these users.
What Data does Facebook Have?
When people hear that data has been stolen, it’s not exactly obvious what that means. Data is a really vague term, so what information does Facebook actually store about you?
These are the things that Facebook monitors.
- Ads you clicked on
- Apps you use
- Your phones contact list
- Events you went to
- Friends you accepted, Friends you declined, Friend requests you sent, removed friends.
- Everything posted on your wall
- All your photos on facebook
- All your videos on facebook
- All your messages you’ve sent
- Everyone you "poked"
- Events you attended
But the question remains, do people care?
Does anyone really care?
It certainly doesn't seem like people are going to stop using Facebook, HOWEVER, this does seem to be a major step backwards for the tech industry. People will be wary of how and what they share online.