Facebook will finally put us out of our misery by revealing whose personal information was harvested by Cambridge Analytica.
Starting today, some 87 million people around the world will find out if their details were “improperly shared” in the social network’s massive data breach.
The unveiling is part of a larger face-saving process, in which Facebook is providing a link for all 2.2 billion users to see which apps they use and what info they collect.
“We understand the importance of keeping your data safe, and are making it easier for you to control which apps you share information with,” the message says, based on a preview published last week.
Folks are encouraged to visit the Apps and Websites section of the settings to edit their preferences: Turn the feature on to log into and interact with other programs and pages using Facebook; turn it off to prevent communication between the platform and third-party services.
Those, meanwhile, whose information was distributed to Cambridge Analytica, can look for a separate notice (like the one pictured above, on the right).
As of this writing, I have not received any announcement—harrowing or otherwise—on my Facebook mobile app or desktop site.
The firm counted up to 87 million affected users, most of whom—more than 70 million—are located in the United States. More than 1 million people in each of the UK, Philippines, and Indonesia may also have had their data harvested.
Cambridge Analytica, which worked with Donald Trump’s election team, began collecting personally identifiable information in 2014, later using it to influence voter opinion.
Last month, employee-turned-whistleblower Christopher Wylie publicly exposed the size and nature of the breach, which prompted Facebook to revamp its privacy controls and data access restrictions.
“We believe these changes will better protect people’s information while still enabling developers to create useful experiences,” Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer wrote in a recent blog post, adding that “We know we have more work to do.”
In a seemingly unrelated move, Facebook is reportedly adding the ability to retract texts from Messenger. The so-called “unsend” feature—quietly in use by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives—will roll out to everyone in the next few months, according to TechCrunch.
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