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Facebook will begin notifying 87 million users affected by data harvesting

Over the last few weeks, Facebook has been embroiled in a huge data scandal, after it was revealed that a firm known as Cambridge Analytica harvested the Facebook details of millions of users to help sway elections. Now starting from today, Facebook will begin notifying the 87 million users that may have had their data accessed without knowledge.

Cambridge Analytica is suspected of attempting to manipulate public opinion in several cases, including the UK’s Brexit vote, and the 2016 US presidential election. This has led to Mark Zuckerberg being called in for questioning around the world, with many countries launching investigations. The 87 million users that had their information accessed will be informed with a detailed message on their news feed, though the majority of those affected will be in the US.

Aside from that, all 2.2 billion Facebook users will also receive a notice titled “protecting your information”, with a link to see what apps they use and what information is being shared with those apps. You will then have the opportunity to revoke data access from third-party apps and services.

The reason this is being regarded as a data breach is the way that information was collected. The system that was in place allowed data harvesters to access information on individuals in addition to everyone in that person’s friends list. Only one person had to volunteer access and then, information on users in that person’s friends list could be collected without them knowing.

Following on from this, Facebook has started suspending other companies for harvesting user data in an effort to tighten up security and win back user trust.

KitGuru Says: Facebook is clamping down on the data third-parties get access to following on from this. It will be interesting to see if any of our readers in particular end up getting the notification.

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