Facebook begins sending privacy alerts to users affected in Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Anthony Bagnetto was one of many people who woke up Tuesday morning to a notification on his Facebook feed informing him that “one of” his friends used Facebook to log into a now-banned personality quiz app called “This Is Your Digital Life.”
The notice said the app misused the information, including public profile, page likes, birthday and current city, by sharing it with the political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica.
Bagnetto, 38, a triathlon coach who lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey, says he didn’t blame his friends taking the quiz for exposing his data, but said that shouldn’t take the pressure off Facebook.
As many as 87 million users who might have had their data shared were supposed to get the detailed message on their news feeds starting Monday.
Facebook says more than 70 million of the affected users are in the U.S., though there are over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.K. The notifications began appearing hours before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified about the privacy scandal in a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday.
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie previously estimated that more than 50 million people were compromised by the personality quiz that collected data from users and their friends.
That Facebook app was created in 2014 by an academic researcher named Aleksander Kogan, who paid about 270,000 people to take it. The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also – thanks to Facebook’s loose restrictions – data from their friends, including details that they hadn’t intended to share publicly.
Facebook later limited the data apps can access, but it was too late in this case.
Zuckerberg said during his testimony that Facebook will investigate “tens of thousands” of apps to discover if any other companies have accessed data in a similar way to Cambridge Analytica.
The audit of third-party apps would highlight any misuse of personal information, Mr Zuckerberg said.