It is critical to note upfront that Facebook was not hacked and that the information that was misused was provided voluntarily by Facebook Users. The only breach was a breach of misplaced trust.
Timeline of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica Scandal:
- January 2015: Cambridge University’s Professor Alexander Krogan created ‘ThisIsYourDigitalLife’ personality survey app on Facebook, under his company “Global Science Research”
- 270,000 people responded and at the time it was possible for users of that app to provide limited information on their ‘friends’, if those ‘friends’ Facebook privacy settings allowed it
- Including the ‘Friends’ moves the number of people that had some limited information sent to the ‘research’ company to about 50 Million
- Professor Kogan has serious ties to the Russian government
- April 2015: Facebook changed their software to make it impossible for users to share any of their ‘friends’ information