New Facebook Data Leak Compromises 3 Million User Accounts

Posted May 16, 2018

Cambridge Analytica, the highly scrutinized data firm that had ties to the Trump campaign, is under investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI, according to The New York Times, which cited an American official and other individuals familiar with the matter.

There has been a lot of attention in the media lately with respect to the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica issue and its fall-out (including today's coverage of the announcement that Facebook suspended nearly 200 apps pending a more complete investigation in whether any user data was misused).

Facebook is especially focused on apps operating in 2014 or earlier.

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Facebook users who shared personal details, like the conclusions from a psychological test, with the popular app myPersonality had their results stored on a vulnerable website with "insufficient security provisions" for four years, according to an article in New Scientist. Users can also know if Cambridge Analytica had access to their data.

Facebook already suspended myPersonality from the social networking site last month, saying the application is already under investigation for potentially violating their policies. The data allegedly includes information like age, gender, and relationship status of 4.3 million people. The report suggests that for those who couldn't access the data set because they didn't have an academic contract, there was a "working username and password" available on GitHub that was passed around between students working on tools for processing Facebook data.

The London-based publication said third parties could easily.

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Facebook did not name the apps that have been suspended, but says the developers have been notified.

A Cambridge Analytica said the company used Twitter for but insisted that it had never "undertaken a project with GSR focusing on Twitter data and Cambridge Analytica has never received Twitter data from GSR". Thousands more are being investigated as the company attempts to clean up its privacy act post-Cambridge Analytica.

Ime Archibong, vice president of Product Partnerships at Facebook, said in a blog that the apps, which he did not specify in detail, will be subject to a thorough investigation as to whether they did in fact misuse any data.

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