Update from Facebook about Cambridge Analytica: Was my information shared?

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Update from Facebook about Cambridge Analytica: Was my information shared?

By now, you should have had an alert from Facebook to advise if your Facebook account was involved in the incident where data was reported to have been misused by an agency called Cambridge Analytica. This is the alert I received on my Facebook Profile –

Protecting your information

We understand the importance of keeping your data safe.

We have banned the app “This Is Your Digital Life”, which one of your friends logged in to using Facebook. We did this because the app may have misused some of our Facebook information by sharing it with a company called Cambridge Analytica. In most cases, the information was limited to public profile, Page likes, date of birth and current city.

You can learn more about what happened and how you can removed apps and website at any time if you no longer want them to have access to your Facebook information.

There is more work to do, but we are committed to confronting abuse and putting you in control of your privacy.

Notice from Facebook relating to Cambridge Analytica

So because one of my Facebook Friends logged into the “This Is Your Digital Life” using the Facebook login, the app was given certain permissions. These permissions, allowed the app to ‘take’ information about me.

Checking the specifics reveals a little more clarification as to exactly what information of mine was shared.

Was my information shared?

Based on our investigation, you don’t appear to have used Facebook to log into “This Is Your Digital Life” before we removed it from our platform in 2015.

However, a friend of yours did log in.

As a result, the following probably shared with “This Is Your Digital Life”:

  • Your public profile, Page likes, date of birth and current city

A small number of people who logged in to “This Is Your Digital Life” also shared their own News Feed, timeline, posts and messages, which may have included posts and message from you. The may also have shared your home town.

Cambridge Analytica - Was I affected?

Should I be worried about what information I share/have shared on Facebook?

Generally speaking, no. This was largely an isolated incident where a company allegedly abused what they were supposed to have done with that data. There are many circumstances where apps really do need to know information about you – this is not something to be fearful of, but rather to understand what it means, so you’re empowered to make an educated decision as to whether you grant that permission or not.

For example, if you want to check-in to a physical location on Facebook, there’s a good reason why Facebook may need your location; it uses this information to show you a list of locations nearby.

What this does potentially show us (and arguably, this is nothing new) is that the information we ‘put online’ is potentially accessible, so we do need to be careful (thoughtful) about we’re putting out there. Even if we’ve changed our privacy/security settings, once you put information out on to a platform like Facebook (like a photo for example), it’s kind of out there.

I don’t think you need to be concerned with the security of the information you share on Facebook – this type of abuse isn’t prevalent – but it’s worth checking out your security settings and seeing which app has access, to which categories of your data. If you don’t recognise an app and/or it’s something you don’t use anymore, you should just cut it off.

By | 2018-04-14T14:55:18+00:00 April 14th, 2018|Categories: Data Protection, Facebook|Tags: |0 Comments

About the Author:

James Lane is the Training Director for Hypestar. A Hootsuite expert, Certified Professional, Hootsuite Ambassador, Geek, Nerd & Educator (Nerducator), he is pioneering digital training solutions for businesses.Passionate about answering people's questions about digital skills and helping people by upskilling them to be able to do what they need to do themselves. He writes about social media, technology and digital skills.
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