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Facebook reveals that up to 87 million users' data may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica

By James Lu - on 5 Apr 2018, 11:10am

Facebook reveals that up to 87 million users' data may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica

Facebook CTO, Mike Schroepfer, revealed in a blog post today that the information of up to 87 million people, mostly in the US, may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica - much higher than the 50 million count reported previously.

In response, Facebook is now rolling out new data restriction policies to ensure something like this never happens again. Moving forward, call and text history will now be part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android. Facebook also confirmed that it does not collect the content of messages — and will delete all logs older than one year. In the future, the client will only upload to Facebook's servers the information needed to offer this feature — not broader data such as the time of calls.

Facebook will also now disable the ability to search for a user using their email address or phone number. That's because, according to Schroepfer, malicious actors have abused the feature to "scrape public profile information" through "search and account recovery." Facebook is also changing the way account recovery works to reduce the risk of scraping.

There are several important changes to Facebook's third-party APIs as well. Apps using the Events API will no longer access the guest list or wall posts and the Groups API will no longer provide access to member lists as well as personal information. In general, all apps using these APIs will now need approval from Facebook before any access is granted.

Starting today, app control will also be tighter, and Facebook will need to approve all apps that request access to information such as check-ins, likes, photos, posts, videos, events and groups. Facebook will also no longer allow apps to ask for access to personal information such as religious or political views, relationship status and details, custom friends lists, education and work history, fitness activity, book reading activity, music listening activity, news reading, video watch activity, and games activity.

Finally, starting on Monday next week, Facebook will show people a link at the top of their News Feed so they can see what apps they use — and the information they have shared with those apps. People will also be able to remove apps that they no longer want. As part of this process we will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

Source: Facebook