Facebook stresses that the m issue of 50 million users’ data was not a breach.
While acknowledging that rules were violated when Cambridge Analytica laid its hand on the 50 million users’ data of Facebook, the company says that the data originated form an individual who had not hacked the social media’s data base. The source was a professor who had legitimately obtained the data from Facebook saying that it was needed for academic purposes only. with due permission from the users. Cambridge Analytics is a data-analysis firm that was engaged in the campaign for President Donald Trump during the presidential elections of 2016.
The professor created a personality quiz for the users of Facebook with the help of tools which allowed users to log in with their Facebook accounts and then the professor asked the users to provide permission to make use of the data form their friends as well. A private data bank of approximately 50 million users was thus opened up after about 270,000 users of that app allowed use of the personal data of their friends as well, according to a report published in the New York Times. These actions of the professor were legal according to the rules of Facebook till such time that the academician decided to pas on the data to a third party – the Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook made Cambridge certify that the data it had collected had been deleted after the social media platform company came to know of the possession of the data with Cambridge Analytica in 2015. But now the company said, it has come to know that the data was not deleted and for this the social network suspended Cambridge from the platform. And since then, there have been multiple efforts by executive to defend the security of Facebook.
“This was unequivocally not a data breach,’’ longtime Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said on Twitter. “People chose to share their data with third-party apps and if those third-party apps did not follow the agreements with us/users it is a violation.’’ Alex Stamos, Facebook’s head of security, echoed the same arguments.
Allegations of m issue of the data during the residential elections have been denied by Cambridge.
Sharing of the most personal of the data of users over the social network by the users themselves forms the basis of the advertising business of Facebook. But especially because of the fact that the social media is already facing flak for allowing its platform for Soviets to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it is unlikely that the Facebook users would feel any more secured by the “not a breach” argument of the company. there have also been accusations against the company over its slow reaction to harmful content
This latest incident further accentuates the incapacity of the company to preempt the negative outcome of its lack of oversight as the company has at times only reacted after things had gone wrong.
Claiming that he wasn’t so good at “talking about these things in the reality of 2018”, the original tweets were deleted by Stamos, the security executive.
“We have collectively been too optimistic about what we build and our impact on the world,” Stamos wrote Saturday on Twitter. “Believe it or not, a lot of the people at these companies, from the interns to the CEOs, agree.”
(Adapted from Bloomberg.com)