It is no secret that Cambridge Analytica used a ton of your private Facebook data. What exactly your data was used for hasn’t been confirmed, but I think we can all speculate. The biggest concern with the data is how it got to Cambridge Analytica in the first place. If you granted access to a third-party “personality quiz”, then there’s a good chance that your data was used by Cambridge Analytica. Even if you didn’t grant access, there’s still a chance that they were able to get access to your data. Why? Well, if a friend of yours gave access to that same third-party app, your data might have been used.
What does this mean? Well, even if you were careful not to give access to your Facebook data, your data may have still been used. This is why I have a problem with Facebook. Some of you probably think that I’m being hard on Facebook, but they’re taking your private data and sharing it with a third-party. Even in cases where you didn’t grant that third-party access to your data. So, let’s say my mother uses this app because she thinks it’s fun. By default, I’m suddenly at risk of having my data exposed, just because I’m friends with her? How does that seem right? And yet, that’s how Facebook operates. The more I learn about Facebook, the less I like the way they conduct business.
Some of you might say that this is just my opinion and I’m being biased against Facebook, but this is no longer a personal bias. My personal bias was that I didn’t like Facebook because I didn’t like their social networking platform for personal reasons – too many “cute” baby pictures etc. This is now about an business practice of allowing third-party developers to have access to the data that Facebook is supposed to be protecting. Sure, you shouldn’t put all kinds of data on Facebook, to begin with, but the platform allows you to do that. In fact, you could argue that it enables you to do that. Which means Facebook is asking for the data and then giving it away – all in one foul swoop.
Getting back to Cambridge Analytica though. It was reported yesterday that Facebook is messaging people to notify them about whether or not their data had been used. But it’s also being reported that there are many people who haven’t received this notification yet. That said, you don’t have to wait. Facebook now has a link that allows you to instantly check to determine if your data had been used.
I would be interested to hear how many of our readers have been affected by the “breach”. (Although, some are saying it’s not a breach because Facebook gave the data away in the first place.) I would be equally as interested to know how many of our readers have had their data used by Cambridge Analytica, but who didn’t authorize access to the personality quiz? To me, that’s a bigger story than those who gave Facebook access to their data in the first place. This whole thing is playing out like a drama. I’m kind of tired of reporting on what Facebook is up to these days. Is it almost over? My guess is no. There’s always something more to be discovered.