How to know your Facebook data have been stolenSyah Ismail
Not long ago, the world was rocked by the news of stolen Facebook data. If you’re an active Facebook user, you would be very anxious about the security of your data.
The leak originated from the high number of Facebook users who registered to websites using their Facebook accounts. One of these websites is Vonvon, a quiz site which asked questions and obliges users to register via Facebook. Usually users are reluctant to create a new account which makes registration via Facebook a more convenient choice.
Unfortunately, some sites took advantage of this and used the data collected for the interests of the organisation or company. Although Vonvon CEO, Jonghwa Kim reiterated that they do not store user data, that couldn’t be said about Cubeyou, a similar application to Vonvon which was accused of not being transparent about how user data is stored and used by third parties.
How did the data leak happen?
A Psychologist Professor from University of Cambridge, Alexandr Kogan is the man responsible for the Facebook data leak. He developed an application on Facebook similar to Vonvon named ‘This Is Your Digital Life’. The questions asked by Kogan in the application was about personality. Of course a lot of people were interested in a personality quiz even when the responses were not entirely accurate. But, there is a feeling of satisfaction when you get the result that matches your personality.
Of course, the template used was identical. You need to login with your Facebook account in order for you to answer a set of test. Up to here, what Kogan has done is still legal.
Kogan defended his actions by claiming that the data collected were used for academic purposes only. However, Facebook found out that the data collected were not only used for academic purposes but also sold to a third party, Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm which combines data mining, data brokerage and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process.
Kogan himself was a former Facebook editor in the field of Quantitative Social Psychology in 2015. So far, over 87 million Facebook user data have been leaked and 65,000 of it are from Singapore.
Mark Zuckerberg apologised
Previously, Zuckerberg said that the problem is part of the user’s’ risk because users have full control of their data. Then, he felt that his view were not entirely accurate. It is important to maintain and develop better security to ensure users feel safe and stay loyal to the social media which was established since 2004.
Besides appearing in front of the United States of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce congress to give a clarification, Zuckerberg also apologised in all the major US print media as well as on his official Facebook account. He admitted his negligence for letting more than 87 million user data leaked to Cambridge Analytica. He promised to improve security and warned users whose data have already been leaked.
“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
The complete testimonials from Mark Zuckerberg can be read below:
Zuckerberg Statement to Con… by on Scribd
How to know if your Facebook data have been stolen
The Facebook team has reacted swiftly. Millions of applications are being checked for its security status and are immediately blocked if found to be threatening the security of Facebook user. You can also check yourself with these few easy steps. On your Facebook home page, select news feeds and at the top will appear a notification if your data have been leaked. In the notification, you will also be prompted the name of the culprit. Facebook is currently working hard to ensure that this incident would not happen again.
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