It is not surprising to now today from Facebook that the debacle of Cambridge Analytica harvesting data on 87 million people has escalated monumentally to the level of 2 billion users worldwide per the Washington Post: “Facebook said Wednesday that “malicious actors” took advantage of search tools on its platform, making it possible for them to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide. The revelation came amid rising acknowledgement by Facebook about its struggles to control the data it gathers on users…But the abuse of Facebook’s search tools — now disabled — happened far more broadly and over the course of several years, with few Facebook users likely escaping the scam, company officials acknowledged. The scam started when malicious hackers harvested email addresses and phone numbers on the so-called “Dark Web,” where criminals post information stolen from data breaches over the years. Then the hackers used automated computer programs to feed the numbers and addresses into Facebook’s “search” box, allowing them to discover the full names of people affiliated with the phone numbers or addresses, along with whatever Facebook profile information they chose to make public, often including their profile photos and hometown…”
“Facebook said in a blog post Wednesday, “Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped.” And per a conference call with journalists as reported by Axios, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook “made mistakes.”
Via Recode: “Facebook says it will begin alerting those users that their data may have been part of this batch on Monday, April 9. The company plans to put a link at the top of every Facebook user’s News Feed next Monday to help them understand which third-party apps have their data. That alert will also include whether or not your data was part of the set obtained by Cambridge Analytica.”
On April 10 Zuckerberg will testify before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – the topic – Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data.