Welcome to our latest blog.
If you want to know about the latest Facebook controversy involving Cambridge Analytica? Then say tuned, you’re in the right place.
Here I will explain what has happened. And also 5 simple steps to make your Facebook account safer.
Social media marketing is a must these days, with Facebook being one of the most popular networks to conquer.
Facebook has become engraved in our everyday lives. It has enabled us to connect & share with the people in our lives. It has helped to cut down physical boundaries.
Furthermore, it has become an integral source of information and news.
From a business perspective, Facebook has helped businesses increase their leads, customers & ROI.
Facebook is arguably the most powerful social media and social networking site there is. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users.
Today however, Facebook is facing up to it’s biggest crisis in it’s 14-year history.
The U.K.-based data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica has been accused of lifting the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission in order to manipulate elections.
This latest Facebook controversy has renewed questions about it’s ability to protect the privacy of its users, while also exploiting their personal details to fuel its lucrative advertising business. It has also deepened concerns about the social media network’s ability to avoid being exploited to spread propaganda and sway elections.
But what has actually happened to cause this Facebook controversy?
This month, The New York Times and The Observer of London reported that Cambridge Analytica, a political data-mining and consulting firm, collected and accessed over 50 million Facebook users’ private information without their knowledge.
The data, was originally claimed to have been collected for academic purposes. However it is now reported it was used to target Facebook users, with crafted ads and messages for President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
What makes this breach unique is that Cambridge Analytica didn’t steal this information. It was given to the company! But how?
How Cambridge Analytica Collected 50 Million Facebook Users’ Data
The story started four years ago when Cambridge psychologist Aleksandr Kogan approached researcher Michal Kosinski to access Facebook users data. Kosinski had collected this using a simple ‘online personality quiz’ app that requires users to log in using Facebook to participate.
While Kosinski refused to provide any data his app was used to collect, Cambridge paid Kogan over $800,000 to create a similar quiz app with the aim to collect Facebook users’ profile data, including the list of pages they had “liked.”
Kogan’s personality quiz app, dubbed “thisisyourdigitallife,” was a huge success. Although it attracted 270,000 Facebook users to take part, Facebook’s APIs at the time let the app also collect a wide range of information about each authorized user’s friends.
Since an average Facebook user has hundreds of friends in his/her friend list. Kogan was able to leverage his user base of 270,000 people to collect data for about 50 million Facebook users for use in its ad-targeting work.
Safety and Security Tips in midst of the Facebook Controversy
As the Facebook controversy reels on, a movement to quit the social network has gathered momentum. Push back against the world’s largest social network, Facebook, is growing. On Tuesday night, former Facebook executive Brian Acton (co-founder of WhatsApp) jumped in.
But for a lot of people deleting Facebook can be as hard as giving up sugar. Once you check in, you can’t check out. Facebook’s attention sucking tentacles won’t let go. If you are one of these people (like myself), follow these tips to help make your Facebook experience a safer one.
So lets go into the belly of the beast. Log onto your Facebook account. And let’s start.
1. Say goodbye to third party apps
This is your first port of call. Yes, I am talking to you Facebook users who enjoy taking random quiz and tests on Facebook. Stop. Stop immediately! These API-using third party apps want access to your personal Facebook details.
In order to prevent this, first go to the Apps section on Your Facebook page.
To get here, click on Settings from the drop-down menu.
Click on Apps on the land hand column.
At the top you will see a list of all the apps that you’ve used so far. Scroll down to find Apps, Websites and Plugins option on your page. Click edit and turn off all third party apps.
In case you have given permission to apps such as Goibibo and Bookmyshow. You should go through your entire list of apps and individually select each app to remove permissions.
2. Switch off your Location services
Location data is one of the easiest ways to get to your personal data. To turn it off or limit Facebook’s access, do the following;
For Android devices: Tap Settings. Click on Security & Location. And then hit Location. Finally, toggle off Facebook’s access.
For iOS devices: Tap Settings. Click on Privacy. And then hit Location Services. Finally, toggle off Facebook’s access.
3. Limit your post sharing settings
This is very importnant. Go to Settings and click on Privacy.
Change ‘Who can see your future posts?’ to ‘friends only.’
You can also limit your past posts to friends only. This will limit all your past Facebook posts to friends only.
4. Review taggings and limit them
Under the Privacy setting, you will find “Timeline and Tagging” option. This controls who can post on your timeline. Limit the option to only me and friends. Also make sure to turn on the settings for both reviewing tags people add to your posts and posts that you’re tagged in before they are visible on your timeline.
5. Remove your personal info or limit them
Finally, the last move is to edit your About Me section. This is to limit your data sharing with Facebook. To do so, click on the question mark icon, given on the right corner of the page. Select Privacy Check Up.
You can delete or hide all your data from here.
There you have it. 5 simple steps. Don’t wait. Do these now!
Amidst the Facebook controversy, founder, Mr Zuckerberg initially remained silent. However, in recent days he has come forward admitting there had been a breach of trust between Facebook “and the people who share data with us”. He also stated that the social media giant was working hard to ensure this didn’t happen again.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” he posted.
“I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”
To conclude, the past days have shattered Facebook’s facade. Facebook’s privacy settings, a grand illusion you may say!
Hence can trust be rebuilt? At the moment Facebook is unable to answer the question of trust!
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