Craig Johnson, Clark.com
After promising to unveil changes to make it easier for users to control their privacy, Facebook said recently that it would begin notifying users who may have had their data inappropriately scraped by a third-party app on the site. A data scandal involving the social media network has widened considerably over the last couple weeks, attracting the scrutiny of Congress and regulators looking to clamp down on privacy breaches and abuses on social media.
The developments come as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to appear in Washington Tuesday for hearings on the data scandal, in which at least 87 million people had their information harvested during the 2016 election cycle by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm.
Was your Facebook data accessed by Cambridge Analytica?
Users who clicked on a third-party app’s personality quiz called “This Is Your Digital Life,” had their data usurped so that the firm could build psychological voter profiles for the purpose of partisan ads. As a result, the social networking site has vowed to be more transparent about when political ads show up in your News Feed.
“These ads will be clearly labeled in the top left corner as ‘Political Ad,’” Facebook said in a news release last week. “Next to it we will show ‘paid for by’ information. We started testing the authorization process this week, and people will begin seeing the label and additional information in the US later this spring.”
How to tell if your info was involved in Facebook’s data scandal
Facebook promised last week that it would show users if their data was part of the scandal. Here we will go over two ways to see whether you have been impacted:
If you open your Facebook and you see the screen on the left, then it will tell you about the new Apps & Websites section, which is where the app controls will be housed. If you get the message on the right, it means that your personal information was accessed by the elections data firm Cambridge Analytica, which has been banned by Facebook.
Go to this Facebook page to see if your info was shared
Many Facebook users may not be getting the prompt yet, so here’s another way to see whether you were part of the Cambridge Analytica haul.
- Log onto Facebook
- Click on this Facebook Help Center link. It will not only show whether your data was part of the Cambridge Analytica breach, but it will tell you whether your friends’ info was taken as well.
Facebook says it is doing what it can be minimize the damage from this controversy — but it needs you to play a part. The site is enlisting users to help them identify ads that should be labeled as such, but aren’t. “We encourage anyone who sees an unlabeled political ad to report it,” the site said. “People can do this by tapping the three dots at the top right corner of the ad and selecting “Report Ad.”