As you’ve probably read in the recent reports – “Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach”
The data was collected through an app called thisisyourdigitallife
You know those cutesy Facebook surveys and Twitter polls that millions click on, whether unknowingly or just to kill some time? Well, they provide these companies with a method of harvesting almost all the details that are shared with Facebook itself including demographic and geographic data.
Not good, not good at all.
What part of what CA did was illegal –
However, the app also collected the information of the test-takers’ Facebook friends, leading to the accumulation of a data pool tens of millions-strong. Facebook’s “platform policy” allowed only collection of friends’ data to improve user experience in the app
What’s scary is that the information isn’t actually limited by Facebook at the API level. Which means a bad player(s) could and probably have a lot more information than these guys.
And it’s just getting worse with pretty much 360 degrees of digital coverage, from messaging apps on your phone to images you share on instagram and pinterest, to tweets, shares and bookmarks. Just about every action online leaves a signature identifier to your likes, dislikes and inclinations, social, political, religious and others. And what’s scarier is that even if you don’t take these surveys, but your friends do, your data is compromised.
So be a friend, stop enabling this data gathering and don’t let your friends either, at least try and educate them on why it’s a bad idea.