Social Media

Facebook now lets you know if your data was shared with Cambridge Analytica

Key Points
  • Starting Monday, the social media giant will show a link at the top of users' News Feeds called "protecting your information."
  • Some Facebook users will see a message above that link to tell them their data may have been shared.
  • Last week, Facebook disclosed that 87 million users' data could have been compromised as a result of the data scandal.
Facebook now lets you know if your data was shared with Cambridge Analytica

Facebook has announced it will inform users if their data was wrongly shared with political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Starting Monday, the social media giant will show a "protecting your information" link at the top of each user's news feed. Following that link, users will be directed to a section where they can see which apps and websites they have used Facebook to log into, and remove any they no longer want connected to their account.

Above the link, users who may have been affected by the data scandal will see the message: "We have banned the website 'This Is Your Digital Life,' which one of your friends used Facebook to log into. We did this because the website may have misused some of your Facebook information by sharing it with a company called Cambridge Analytica."


Cambridge Analytica has been accused of collecting data on millions of people's profiles without their consent. The company worked on Facebook ads with President Donald Trump's campaign, but it maintains that the data were not used during the U.S. election. Cambridge Analytica's ousted CEO Alexander Nix was caught on camera saying that the firm ran all the digital operations for Trump's campaign.

Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research used the quiz app "This Is Your Digital Life" to gather data on users. That data were then shared with Cambridge Analytica, something the company has admitted. However, it has said that it deleted all data obtained through GSR after it discovered the latter had breached data regulations. Cambridge Analytica denies any wrongdoing.

Last week, Facebook disclosed that 87 million users' data could have been compromised, and that most people on the platform could have had their public profile scraped. Data scraping is a means of pulling data from a website with a computer program.

According to Facebook, more than 70 million users whose data may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica are located in the U.S., and 1 million each in the U.K., the Philippines and Indonesia.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify at a hearing before Congress on Wednesday. Zuckerberg declined to appear before a U.K. select committee, but lawmakers have reiterated calls for the social network's billionaire co-founder to give evidence.

A Canadian firm linked to Cambridge Analytica, AggregateIQ, has been accused by whistleblowers of breaching spending limits during the Brexit referendum and swaying the vote through cheating tactics. The company was recently suspended by Facebook.

On Sunday, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie said that the data of Facebook users could be stored in Russia and elsewhere across the globe.

CNBC also reported that day that another data analytics firm, CubeYou, had used tactics similar to Cambridge Analytica to share users' information. The company, which collected information on Facebook users through quizzes, misled people by saying its quizzes would be used for nonprofit academic research, only to then sell that data on to marketers. Facebook pulled CubeYou from the platform after being informed of its activities by CNBC. CubeYou denies any deception.

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