Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Commerce Committee today trying to explain what happened in a massive data breach impacting 87 million users, and assure congress that the largest social media site is protecting your data.
This all stems from the massive data breach connected to Cambridge Analytica (CA), a UK company that has come clean and apologized about collecting data from Facebook users without permission.
"I am sorry that in 2014 SCL Elections (an affiliate of Cambridge Analytica) licensed Facebook data and derivatives from a research company (GSR) that had not received consent from most respondents. The company believed that the data had been obtained in line with Facebook’s terms of service and data protection laws," a letter from CA CEO Dr. Alexander Tayler said.
When you opened Facebook today, either on your phone or computer, you may have seen one of two messages.
The first is pretty benign saying that Facebook cares about your data.
The second is a bit more worrisome, and means your data was hacked.
It starts by saying that Facebook has banned the app called "This is Your Digital Life" and says one of your friends may have used it.
The app was a fake personality quiz from CA.
By trying to take the quiz the user had to give the company permission to track all of their Facebook data and that of their friends.
Cambridge Analytica then used that data to create personal profiles and determine how people leaned politically.
CA then sold that information to campaigns to target them with political ads.
In this news release CA claims they did not use any of the data in the 2016 election.
Zuckerberg is going to have to explain how this was allowed to happen, and how it can be stopped in the future on Capital Hill Tuesday and Wednesday.
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