The unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal as linked to Facebook has raised many eyebrows as to the security and privacy of user information on Facebook. It’s scary to think they could be data breach on Facebook considering the huge size of users. It is estimated that on a daily, Facebook has over 1.4 billion users!
The scoop is that the U.K firm Cambridge Analytica obtained over 50 million Facebook users information illegally. However, executives at Facebook has carefully tried not to classify the incident as a data breach – which is usually a term associated with hackers invasion of data. According to Mark Zuckerberg, “the incident is more of a breach of trust than a data breach”.
The recent data breach associated with Facebook is as a 2016 research conducted by Cambridge Analytica. The firm ran a survey of 270,000 Facebook users on the 2016 US Presidential election. But it has been discovered that the firm collected data from both the users who participated in the survey and also their friends. This is a security breach and a direct violation of Facebook’s terms of service.
Facebook has been under the spotlight since it was discovered that some of its data might have been used to influence the 2016 US presidential election. With this recent incident, an investigation has commenced by the Massachusetts attorney general.
Facebook Data Breach and the #DeleteFacebook Campaign
The New York Times and The Observer of London broke the news. Cambridge Analytica had used the data it collected from Facebook to target users for crafted ads for President Donald Trump’s election campaign. The news brought about series of chain reaction that is still ongoing. However, Cambridge Analytica has denied any wrongdoing, their statement said: “the firm never used any data from the research as part of services they provided to the Trump campaign”. But a former employee of the firm who blew the whistle has refuted those claims.
In the aftermath of the data leak, a group of concerned users has gone on to create a #DeleteFacebook campaign. They are urging other concerned users to join the protest and delete their Facebook accounts. The truth remains that Facebook has proven to be an integral part of most people’s lives and as such the #DeleteFacebook campaign could prove futile.
Steps to secure your personal data on Facebook and other Social Media Platforms
Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof technique to guarantee the security of your info on all social media platforms but here are some simple step you can take to add an extra layer of security to your accounts;
- Be very mindful of the information you share: before you share or post anything on Facebook and other social media platforms think of the possible outcomes. Bear in mind that it is possible for a data breach to occur. Therefore, share with care!
- Keep on apps that are useful to you: ensure you keep a clean bill of apps. Any app that is not absolutely necessary to you does not deserve to have your info!
- Secure your devices: ensure your social media passwords are secure and strong. It is not safe to use birthdays as passwords. Long phrases are better options and are easy to remember too. To reset your Facebook password now click the link.
- Make use of the two-factor verification option: Facebook and other major platforms provide users with this option. With the two-factor verification process, you can use a code/fingerprint after the password to enter your account. This ensures a better level of safety.
Nowadays, companies get rich easily by exploiting user data for their personal gain even without consent. It is a world of big data and it lacks proper regulations. US laws are yet to meet the needs of users by providing better privacy protection laws. The importance of data in this age and time demands for better protection and laws.
Finally, the Facebook data breach is still unfolding. Soon we all hope to see a better reaction and resolution from all parties involved.