Facebook Scandal: Data of 'up to 87 million' users shared with Cambridge Analytica

05 April 2018, 04:16 PM
Facebook scandal: Data of 'up to 87 million' users shared with Cambridge Analytica
Facebook scandal: Data of 'up to 87 million' users shared with Cambridge Analytica

Facebook Inc. on Wednesday said that personal data of up to 87 million users was improperly shared with the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica – over 37 million more than previously disclosed by the whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

According to the new figures released by the Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, most of the users whose data were stolen were from the US.

"In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people -- mostly in the US -- may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica," Schroepfer said.

Earlier, the whistleblower of the Facebook scandal Christopher Wylie estimated that the data of 50 million users was stolen by the British firm Cambridge Analytica.

A day earlier, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg had said that the social media major had taken big steps by taking down Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA) pages that were targeting the US.

Regretting the data breach, Zuckerberg said, "Clearly we should have done more, and we will going forward".

After acknowledging the security lapses, the Facebook chief sought another chance for himself to lead the company.

“This a huge mistake. It's my mistake. People make mistakes and learn along the way. Give me another chance," he told reporters during a conference.

"I have not, due to the CA situation, yet. We're still working through this. At the end of the day, this is my responsibility. There have been a bunch of questions about that. I started this place, I run it, I'm responsible for what happens here," he told reporters.

In an election year, Facebook's focus to be on India market 

Amid the data breach row, Facebook has deployed technology tools like artificial intelligence and thousands of people to work on security as the company's "major focus" this year is to protect the integrity of upcoming elections in several countries, including India, on its platform, its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said.

Also Read | India warns Facebook of stringent action if it sways electoral process

Terming 2018 a "big year" for elections, Zuckerberg said Facebook was enhancing its security features to prevent trolls from spreading information.

"This is going to be a big year for elections ahead with the US midterms and elections in India, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Hungary and others. This is going to be a major focus for us," he said.

Several Indian states like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are scheduled to go for polls this year and the general elections are due in a little over a year from now.

The social media giant has been slammed over a major data breach scandal by Cambridge Analytica, a British firm linked to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Thursday, April 05, 2018 10:42 AM
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