Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Data of 87 mn users may have been improperly shared, Facebook says

El responsable tecnológico de Facebook, Mike Schroepfer, pronuncia su discurso durante la segunda jornada de la prestigiosa cumbre tecnológica Web Summit en Lisboa, Portugal, hoy, 8 de noviembre de 2016. La Web Summit reunirá a figuras clave del sector en la capital lusa hasta el próximo 10 de noviembre. EFE

New York, Apr 4 (EFE).- Facebook Inc. said Wednesday that the data of as many as 87 million of its users may have been inappropriately shared with British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, 37 million more than initially estimated.

“In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people – mostly in the (United States) – may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,” Mike Schroepfer, the company’s chief technology officer, said in a blog post.

In the same post, Schroepfer provided an update on the steps the social media giant is taking to restrict the information apps can use when users connect them to Facebook.

In mid-March, it was announced that Cambridge Analytica gained access to the data of 50 million Facebook users in 2014, apparently in violation of the company’s data-privacy policies.

Days later, on March 22, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted his company had made mistakes and that its policies that allowed users’ data to be misused amounted to a “breach of trust.”

He also announced then that the company’s data-privacy practices would be reviewed and that steps would be taken to ensure the errors are not repeated.

Zuckerberg is to testify before a US House of Representatives committee on April 11 about how his company handles the data of its more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, two House lawmakers said in a statement earlier Wednesday.

Schroepfer said in Wednesday’s blog post that starting April 9 Facebook would inform users if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica and also provide a link at the top of their News Feed “so they can see what apps they use – and the information they have shared with those apps.”

He also said a series of other changes would be made to better protect Facebook users’ privacy.

Schroepfer said that starting Wednesday “apps using the (Events) API will no longer be able to access the guest list or posts on the event wall” and that “all future access (by apps) to the Pages API will need to be approved by Facebook.”

Additionally, “starting (Wednesday), Facebook will need to approve all apps that request access to information such as check-ins, likes, photos, posts, videos, events and groups,” he added.