Wednesday, Facebook Canada shared more details about the Cambridge Analytica data breach that saw tens of millions of users’ personal information used by the firm through a third-party quiz application. The company estimates that 622,161 Canadians’ information was “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica and bumped up the estimate of worldwide users affected from 50 million to more than 87 million.
Most of those 87 million profiles are reported to have been from the United States and their data could have been used by Cambridge Analytica – who worked in collaboration with Donald Trump’s campaign — to sway public opinion in the 2016 election. Mark Zuckerberg admitted in a conference call with reporters Wednesday that the social media company should have been more vigilant in the protection of user information.
“Knowing what I know today, clearly we should have done more, and we will be moving forward,” he said, “We understand . . . we’re not just building tools, but we need to take full responsibility for the outcomes for people who use the tools as well.”
Zuckerberg also confirmed that he would be testifying before U.S. congress next week about the scandal and how Facebook handles users’ sensitive information. Ahead of that meeting, Facebook has also released a comprehensive update on how they will be limiting third-party applications’ access to user data.
Facebook has limited the information third-party apps can access with regards to events, groups and pages and will delete call and text history after one year. They have also disabled a search feature that allowed users to search for profiles using a phone number or email address – the method Facebook says was used to scrape most of the 87 million profiles.
A change that users will notice come April 9 is a new link at the top of the News Feed that will allow them to see what apps they use and what access those apps have to their personal information. The new function will also allow users to remove apps they no longer want accessing their profiles.
The new app controls panel will also let users know whether Facebook believes their data specifically has been “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica.
For up-to-date information on what Facebook is doing, the company directs users to their Developer Blog.