Don’t Delete Facebook Yet!
If you’ve been keeping up with current news over the past few days then I’m sure you’ve seen a fair share about Facebook. So what actually happened?
Long story short, back in 2014 a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge named Aleksandr Kogan built an app called ‘thisisyourdigitallife’ which offered personality predictions and passed itself off as “a research app used by psychologists.”
Whenever people used Facebook to sign in to the app they knowingly gave the app access to some limited information (note: this is something that we do every single day.) Facebook conducts regular audits to ensure the information that is being shared between a Facebook user and the app developer is justified. In this case, Kogan was sharing the information he was receiving with outside sources (i.e SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Dr. Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, Inc.), which is in direct violation of Facebook’s Platform Policies. Once they realized they’d lied, Facebook instructed them to delete all the information they’d collected and Dr. Kogan and Dr. Wylie certified that they had.
The reason this is back in the news now is there is speculation that the data was not completely deleted. Facebook is looking into this right now, and SCL / Cambridge Analytica has been suspended from the platform pending a review of the allegations. Here is the official statement from Facebook Newsroom dated March 19, 2018:
So what can we learn from this? Although Facebook works hard to create a safe environment for it’s millions of users, it can’t guarantee your complete and total safety. No social media outlet can do that. So while Facebook is a great tool, especially for businesses, it cannot keep our information 100% safe 100% of the time. Let’s use this as a reminder to be careful what kind of information we’re choosing to share online. #FacebookResponsibly
Since the update on the 19th, Mark Zuckerberg has chimed in with a personal update on the situation. You can view that here.