In the wake of Facebook’s wide-ranging data scandal, in which it was revealed the social media giant allowed access to millions of consumers’ personal information, you might be wondering – was my information exploited?
Data was exposed when Facebook users signed up for an application called “My Digital Life.” In theory, only users of that app would have their information compromised. However, the app also exposed comments or photos that the friends of users posted. Users would probably know if they had signed up for an app like this (though they could have simply forgotten). However, they would not know if one of their friends signed up and exposed their information without their consent or knowledge.
So, how can you tell whether your information is out there?
The process is simple. Click on this link to take you to a page in Facebook’s Help Center to find out. You must be logged into Facebook for the check to work.
When this writer navigated to the link, I discovered that my “public profile, Page likes, birthday and current city,” was shared with the app developers. Consumers should find out what sort of information is out there, and how much was exposed.
As of now, there is no way to tell which Facebook friend inadvertently exposed your information. Doubtless, there would be a wave of “un-friendings,” should Facebook decide to make that public. Again, that link to check whether your data was exposed is: https://www.facebook.com/help/1873665312923476
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress on April 11 and April 12. In his testimony, he said,
In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that [Alexander] Kogan had shared data from his app with Cambridge Analytica. It is against our policies for developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and other entities he gave the data to, including Cambridge Analytica, formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data — which they ultimately did.
Last month, we learned…that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as they had certified. We immediately banned them from using any of our services. Cambridge Analytica claims they have already deleted the data
and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm we hired to investigate this.