Facebook data scandal: 63,714 New Zealanders affected after 10 people downloaded quiz app

作者:Betty    發表日期:2018-09-28 12:00:19

Facebook’s recent privacy row has got the whole world sitting up and taking notice of the issues staring right into their faces regarding the way tech companies across the world are collecting and handling users』 private data.

The company has been bogged down by one issue after another since whistleblower Christopher Wylie exposed Facebook’s involvement in a data mismanagement by political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

The issue began in 2014 when Facebook users were invited to take part in a personality quiz via an app developed by Cambridge University researcher Dr Kogan called thisisyourdigitallife. According to records, data of about 270,000 users — who took part in the quiz — were collected by the app. Taking advantage of loopholes in Facebook’s data regulation rules, Cambridge Analytica illegally mined data of more than 87 million users across the world.

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While the initial number of affected users was pegged at 50 million across the world, Facebook came out with a revised number last week which said the affected users could be as high as 87 million. However, trouble seems to be mounting for the company as it recently announced that the affected users are not limited to US and UK.

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Facebook recently revealed that 63,714 users from New Zealand has been affected by the issue after 10 users from the country downloaded the quiz app.

「For New Zealand, we estimate a total of 63,724 people may have been impacted — 10 are estimated to have downloaded the quiz app with 63,714 friends possibly impacted,」 said Antonia Sanda, head of communications for Facebook in Australia and New Zealand.

Facebook informed John Edwards, New Zealand’s privacy commissioner, that it will soon alert all the affected New Zealanders about the breach.

「I think we have some real information deficits that I hope my colleagues in the UK and the US will uncover... I am not sure New Zealanders were 'targeted' but I think there is a level of complacency [in New Zealand]. And when you say we're so far away, we're only one click away really,」 Edwards said.

Edwards clarified that he is working with his counterparts in US, UK Australia and Canada on understanding the nature and severity of the entire issue and seeking further information on this from Facebook on priority.

Edwards revealed that he deleted his Facebook account as soon as the whole Cambridge Analytica row broke out and urged his countrymen to follow suit.

「I am actually quite concerned about the drip-feed of information [from the social media giant]. These events occurred four years ago. There was knowledge about Cambridge Analytica's targeting tactics a good two years ago, yet we are really only seeing Facebook confront this issue now,」 Edwards said.

「The scope for abuse is huge. What we have seen with Cambridge Analytica is just a little taste of what could happen, the potential for political manipulation. It is almost an unimaginable scale of harm that a malicious actor could do with that level of information.」

Edwards confirmed that they are keeping a keen eye on the ongoing investigations in the world and will not be conducting a separate investigation on the breaches in New Zealand.