10 Facts About The Facebook Data Leak Scandal That Started #DeleteFacebook Movement


#DeleteFacebook is not just a hashtag trending on Twitter.

It’s real and you might want to know more about it.

To be honest, debates over Facebook’s privacy has never ceased over the years. But more recently, the latest news that leaked via former employees made it worse.

Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm that worked on President Trump’s 2016 campaign, was reported by The New York Times to have harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission.

If I can’t have the honours of making you stay on to read this article, then I guess your only take away at this point could be Mark Zuckerberg’s attitude towards your privacy.

Just take a look at this old interview someone dug out:

Image: twitter.com/thebharaths

So are you going to join in the bandwagon? Because we know WhatsApp’s co-founder has already done so.

“It is time. #deletefacebook”

Those were the words by Brian Acton, one of the founders of WhatsApp, via Twitter on 20 March. It has since been retweeted over 10K times with 20K likes at the point of writing.

Image: twitter.com

Let’s not forget that his company was bought by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014 and that made him a billionaire.

No more loyalty

The creator of the Facebook “like” button, Justin Rosenstein, has deleted the product from his phone. He also commented on the industry’s use of psychologically manipulative advertising.

Facebook’s former head of user growth, Chamath Palihapitiya, also mentioned that the company was “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”.

And the last of the lot, former Facebook platform operations manager, Sandy Parakilas, wrote in The Washington Post that Mark Zuckerberg must “be held accountable for the negligence of his company”.

The background story in 2014

Four years ago, Cambridge Analytica engaged an outside researcher, Alexandr Kogan, to pay small sums to users who agree to take a personality quiz and download an app.

The damage? Some private information from their profiles and their friends’ would be kept. This was an activity that Facebook allowed at the time.

Alexandr Kogan told Facebook and his app users that he was collecting information for academic purposes and not for a political data firm. Back then, Facebook did not do anything to verify how the information was being used.

Facebook on the defensive

Over the last weekend, Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook executive, took it to Twitter to defend the company.

Image: twitter.com

He said, “This was unequivocally not a data breach. People chose to share their data with third-party apps and if those third-party apps did not follow the data agreements with us/users it is a violation. No systems were infiltrated, no passwords or information were stolen or hacked.”

Threatens to sue British newspapers

Questions from technology experts and others about Facebook’s reaction to the news reports by The Times and The Observer are scaring the hell out of Facebook.

To the extent that Facebook even threatens to sue The Observer to stop it from publishing, according to John Mulholland, the editor of The Observer.

Image: twitter.com

“It’s a shame Facebook as a whole didn’t do a better job weighing. Last night they threatened to sue the Observer/Guardian to stop this story coming out. Maybe you can explain that one.”

For your information, Alex Stamos who said he “should have done a better job weighing in” is the Chief Security Officer of Facebook.


Data expert who oversaw Cambridge Analytica’s data suspended from Facebook

Christopher Wylie, a data expert who supervised Cambridge Analytica’s data harvesting, but also left Cambridge Analytica in 2014, had his Facebook account suspended.

Image: twitter.com

“Huh? But why? He already left Cambridge Analytica what.”

Because he disclosed information to the newspapers.

He said, “I feel a sense of regret every day when I see where they have helped take our world. I need to make amends, and that’s why I’m coming forward.”

Lawmakers are pressing Facebook for an answer

Mr Collins, a British lawmaker, has plans to call the Chief Executive of Cambridge Analytica to return to Parliament. This is due to the fact that he claimed that the company has never obtained or used Facebook data.

“It seems clear that he has deliberately misled the committee and Parliament,” Mr Collins said.


While in the US, the attorney general of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, announced via a tweet that her office was opening an investigation.

Image: twitter.com

Even our very own Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam got in on the action. He went after Facebook during a public hearing before The Selected Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods.

Image: channelnewsasia.com

Facebook representative, Simon Milner, was targeted from the start and questioned for three hours on the massive data breach, and exploitation of said data by Cambridge Analytica.

Mark Zuckerberg has regrets

“I’m really sorry that this happened,” the Facebook CEO told CNN in an exclusive TV interview on Wednesday.

Image: money.cnn.com

He also addressed the issue through a lengthy Facebook post saying, “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.


“I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

“I started Facebook, and at the end of the day, I’m responsible for what happens on our platform. I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community,” he adds.

There’s also a timeline of events written by the man himself dating all the way from 2007. So, I guess you know where to stalk his updates.

Should I delete my Facebook?

It’s easier said than done.

With over 2 billion users, Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in the world. People use it to keep in touch with their family and friends overseas. For others, it’s a gateway for employment as well as community group support.

Some are also concerned with the practical use of Facebook login for many other third-party applications and websites. Tinder, how ah?

Does changing your privacy help?

There are many tutorials online to teach you how to protect yourself from breach of data. I took a look at my own Facebook account under ‘Settings’ > ‘Apps’.

Image: Facebook.com

Try it, you will be able to see the list of third-party apps logged in via your Facebook account.


On the same page where you are, one thing you can do is to ‘disable’ the platform that allows the integration of third-party apps via Facebook login.

But this one move equates to not being able to login via Facebook on those apps and websites that you use in the future.

Or you can clear the apps that you no longer use individually. But just remember, it’s another redundant move because, as I quote Facebook, “(the company) may still have the data you shared with them. For details about removing this data, please contact Pinterest or visit the Pinterest Privacy Policy.

Image: facebook.com

In my opinion, our footprints are left on the internet in this day and age. So, unless you want to live like a caveman or cavewoman, it’s not easy to protect yourself once you’ve set foot on the web.

The only thing we can probably do is to watch the information you release online, especially those that are personal and may pose a threat to your personal safety and well-being.

But then again, if you want to join the #DeleteFacebook trend, we won’t stop you.

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

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