Facebook’s failure to ensure that Cambridge Analytica had deleted user data will cost it £500,000 ($663,306), according to the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office, which also intends to open a criminal case against the data analytics firm.
Over a 10-day period in May, a software bug automatically updated 14 million Facebook users’ privacy settings from Private to Public, exposing their posts to a wider audience.
Facebook was testing a feature designed to help users share content.
“We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts,” Facebook Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) Erin Egan said in a statement. “We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence on the Cambridge Analytica data scandal on Wednesday, posting an explanation online and giving interviews to some news organizations.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said in a statement on his Facebook page.
Over 50 million Facebook profiles were harvested by an app for data, which was then passed the information on to Cambridge Analytica. You can catch up with the full story here.
More user control of data
In his first statement, Zuckerberg set out steps that the social network would take to avoid a repeat of the abuse and give people a better idea of how their data are being used.
Facebook will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of data and will audit apps with “suspicious activity,” Zuckerberg said. He added that the company would restrict developers’ access to data.
And Facebook will implement a new tool at the top of the News Feed that will show users which apps they are using and give them an easy way to revoke permissions to data.
While Zuckerberg didn’t say the word “sorry” in his initial Facebook post, the CEO did apologize in an interview with CNN.
“So this was a major breach of trust and I’m really sorry that this happened,” Zuckerberg said, adding that the company’s “responsibility now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
Concerning the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 U.S. election, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said social media companies should be fined if they can’t get rid of bots on their platforms.
“They have brilliant people working there,” Klobuchar said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “They’ve got to put more resources — maybe it means making less profits off of ads and other things — but they’ve got to put the resources into Facebook and Twitter to stop these bots from dominating the accounts.”
The Democratic senator said the social media giants are some of the most sophisticated companies in the world and that bots on Facebook are like “toxic waste” being dumped into the environment. Although not explicitly stated in the bill, the remarks were made concerning proposed legislation seeking to make digital ads part of the campaign finance laws.
The new phishing attempt by hackers targets smartphone owners most of whom are Facebook users.
If you frequently use the Facebook on your smartphones beware! Researchers have uncovered a new phishing attempt by hackers that targets smartphone owners most of whom are Facebook users.
Security researchers from PhishLabs say the new tactic relies on the vulnerability that mobile browsers have very narrow URL address bars, which prevents users from viewing the entire contents of a link. Taking advantage of this hackers are padding URLs with sub-domains and hyphens, which make links look authentic on mobile devices but in reality will redirect them to dodgy sites.
As The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend, Facebook saw an additional 23 companies join ThreatExchange since the introduction of a new application process last week. Members of the platform utilize Facebook’s APIs to share and query threat intelligence information with other organizations.