Anatomy of a Modern Data Breach: The Facebook – Cambridge Analytica Scandal
Now that much of the dust has settled on Cambridge Analytica‘s misuse of Facebook users data the sad story can now be told.
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