You can check if your account is affected with a new feature on Facebook.
If you have been following the Cambridge Analytica scandal (where we also exposed who Aleksandr Kogan’s wife, Crystal Ying Spectre is), then you would know that the Facebook data breach affects all of us.
Yes, even those of us in Singapore.
In fact, more than 65,000 Facebook users in Singapore may have had their information “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica.
For those who might need to catch up, Cambridge Analytica is facing allegations of data mining through a personality app that was used to harvest 50 million Facebook users’ personal data.
Subsequently, the data collected was allegedly used to build a powerful software programme for online psychological manipulation and fake news campaigns to bolster Trump’s presidential campaign.
In an article in TODAY, the local news site reported that Facebook would be notifying the 65,000 users who may have been part of the data breach. But it did not specify when.
The social media giant is embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving the data of up to 87 million users worldwide.
The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) in Singapore said that it is in close contact with Facebook and is looking into the matter.
“PDPC is concerned that individuals in Singapore are affected,” its spokesperson said. “Facebook users are encouraged to review their privacy settings in order to control how their information is used or shared.”
If you’re concerned about the Facebook data breach, here’s what you can do:
On April 9, Monday, Facebook will provide a link at the top of News Feed for you to check if you have been affected.
The link will lead you to a comprehensive breakdown of which third-party apps you’re using, and information that has been shared with those apps. There, you will see if your information has been shared with Cambridge Analytica. There are two ways that you might have been affected by this: either because you used the app associated with the breach or one of your friends did.
Facebook announced this new function in efforts to rebuild trust with its users. It has also announced new privacy and data controls. This week, there’s a revamped data policy and terms of service, as well as new data restrictions. Here are the most important takeaways:
1. Heavier data restrictions for third-party apps
Developers will no longer be able to see event guest lists or posts on an event wall. They will also be restricted from viewing member lists for groups and any personal information from group members (which includes basic information such as names and their Facebook profile photos).
Third-party apps will also need to go through a stricter approval process to see information such as “check-ins, likes, photos, posts, videos, events and groups” and will no longer have access to “religious or political views, relationship status and details, custom friends lists, education and work history”.
On Messenger, any information that isn’t required for the feature to work won’t be collected, such as time of calls.
2. An easier-to-read Facebook data policy
We’ve all clicked the “Accept” button when it comes to terms & conditions without actually going through the policy. But the Cambridge Analytica scandal has made many of us more aware that we should be reading such important documents.
The policy is a good reminder to let you know that in addition to the information you knowingly share in your profile, Facebook collects information about what “posts, videos and other content you view” and how you interact with pages, other accounts, and groups.
The new terms attempt to clarify the basics of what Facebook offers and what you’re committing to when you log in to your account. So do give it a read.
Will you be checking if you’re one of the 65,000 users in Singapore affected by the Facebook data breach? Let us know in the comments.
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