The six ways Facebook plans to prevent another Cambridge Analytica incident

Key Points
  • Facebook is enacting six main initiatives to prevent companies from having access to users' personal data without authorization.
Zuckerberg addresses data scandal in Facebook post

Facebook has responded to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, saying it will prevent further misuse by enacting restrictions on the use of personal data.

The company said in a post on Wednesday it was enacting six main initiatives to prevent companies from having access to people's personal data without their authorization.

The initiatives include:

— Reviewing all apps that have had access to large amounts of data on its platform and apps with suspicious activity,

— Alerting people who have had their information misused through apps,

— Turning off an app's access to users' data if the person hasn't used the app in the last three months,

— Changing Facebook Login data so apps can only see a user's name, profile photo and email address unless the app goes through a further review process,

— Helping people manage the apps they use on Facebook and what information the apps can see about them, and,

— Increasing
bug bounty program for people to report and get rewarded if they find instances of app developers incorrectly using people's data.

The Guardian and The New York Times reported that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica used unauthorized data from a psychology quiz app to target voters during the 2016 U.S. election. The professor who created the app, Aleksandr Kogan, had told Facebook he was creating the app for academic research purposes, but he shared the personal information with Cambridge Analytica. Though only 270,000 people downloaded the app, because it also captured from users' friends, the data set ultimately included info on more than 50 million Facebook profiles.

Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Donald Trump's campaign, used the information to target potential voters, according to The Guardian and The New York Times. Cambridge Analytica has denied these claims, saying it deleted the information when it was notified it was obtained improperly.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a statement on the situation on his Facebook page on Wednesday, pledging to prevent the misuse of personal information on its platform.

"We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you," Zuckerberg said.

See the full blog post here.

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