Uncovering Facebook’s Data Breach

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Pic source: Times Magazine

 

Facebook has been known for storing the user’s data in their database when we open it with other web pages along with SMS, Messages in Android by taking Permissions. About 50 Million American’s data has been stored and stolen by the company named Columbia Analytica, a British Company.

This issue should be addressed from the early days of Facebook. In 2013, a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app. It was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends’ data. Given the way how Facebook worked at the time, this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends’ data.


In 2014, to prevent abusive apps from accessing user’s data Facebook changed how it works so that data accessed is reduced. apps like Kogan’s could no longer ask for data about a person’s friends unless their friends had also authorized the app. We also required developers to get approval from us before they could request any sensitive data from people. These actions would prevent any app like Kogan’s from being able to access so much data today.


In 2015, Facebook learned that Kogan had shared the data with Columbia Analytica and demanded him and the company to delete the data. However, recently Facebook found out that Columbia Analytica may not have deleted the data and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm we hired to confirm this. We’re also working with regulators as they investigate what happened.

 

Fix:
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook said that they would investigate the apps that have more data about users before they changed their policy in 2014. They would ban such apps immediately on Facebook.

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Pic source: Arab news

They would reduce the data that they give to any apps. They announced that they would only give Profile Photo, E-mail, and Name. Even more, Facebook also announced that they would stop Developer’s to access the data if the user hadn’t accessed the app in 3 months. They would update Facebook so that we can see all the apps that had/would access our data in our News Feed and Privacy.


Since this issue arose #DeleteFacebook has been trending. Elon Musk has deleted the Facebook Pages of Tesla and SpaceX which are his companies and Whatsapp founder Brian Acton also deleted his Facebook account by saying this is the biggest issue he has ever seen. This may also be a big blow to Facebook since Companies may leave them. Facebook has to regain the trust of its users. But the question still remains, as to whether Facebook will regain the status ultimate social media platform? The more Facebook advertises the more #DeleteFacebook movement grows.

References:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/24/cambridge-analytica-week-that-shattered-facebook-privacy

 

 

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