Facebook just announced that up to 87 million Facebook users’ data was harvested by data reporting firm Cambridge Analytica, which was allegedly hired by the Trump campaign to gather data for targeted advertising. Facebook has claimed that the data was initially collected by professors for academic purposes in accordance with its rules. The information was later transferred to third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, in violation of Facebook’s policies.
Facebook also said in the blog post that “most people on Facebook” may have had their public profile information scraped by malicious individuals. They did so by using Facebook’s discover friend features and inputted (most likely maliciously gained) email addresses and phone numbers to look up users and scraping all their public data.
Facebook plans to start alerting affected users this week, and has begun to explore an test new privacy techniques and policies.
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