Last week, Facebook suspended the Trump campaign’s data consultant, Cambridge Analytica, for allegedly accessing the data of 50 million Facebook accounts without their consent illegally. Facebook has been facing a backlash over its role of spreading disinformation to the public on how it handles users’ data who sign-up on its platform. The Facebook data breach scandal is likely to catch more heat as the time passes and what has happened so far is briefed below.
Back in 2007, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg invited outside developers to boost their businesses utilizing Facebook’s data like user’s friend lists and interests. Cambridge Analytica — unlike other companies broke Facebook’s rules and accessed private data of Facebook users for Trump’s election campaign in 2016, telling Facebook that it needs this data for academic use, as reported by Washington Post.
Whereas, Facebook claims that a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan lied to them and violated platform’s policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to SCL/Cambridge Analytica.
Following reports of Facebook’s data breach scandal, the company has lost $35 billion in market value, on Monday, reports Fortune. According to the reports, Facebook has shed around 6% of its shares.
Although, Facebook’s executives Zuckerburg and Sandberg are still quiet on the Cambridge Analytica situation, yet a company’s blog post has denied all allegations claiming a data breach. The statement reads,
“The claim that this is a data breach is completely false. Aleksandr Kogan requested and gained access to information from users who chose to sign up for his app, and everyone involved gave their consent.”
Facebook claims that “people knowingly provided their information” to Kogan’s app. No systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked.
Keeping those claims aside, something new is also being cooked at Facebook’s headquarters in the California, US. It is likely that this public outcry would result in the departure of a senior executive of the company. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief information security officer, who has urged more disclosure over Russian activity on Facebook is likely to leave the company in August.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has obtained a search warrant to examine the internal servers of Cambridge Analytica.
Well, it appears that the scandal is likely to catch more heat in coming weeks but the worrying factor is that we haven’t heard from Zuckerburg until now.