This incident of data leakage has threatened the Facebook users around the globe. Right to privacy has hampered which it ultimately assigned bad name for Facebook. User data misuse is something about which concerns were brewing, in private circles and recently left media since early days of Facebook. Facebook is the front runner among other sprinters like Google, who were collecting metadata on massive scale and using it to get insights on everything from a person’s net worth to her fitness level. Those insights were used by anyone who could pay to use it in an unethical way.
Facebook is now losing its popularity. Most original users of platform have abandoned it because of its ideology. Bad press can take away the massive daily users it gained since. In the long run, only the corporations that will have the trust of people will thrive, as although we are slow learners but we definitely learn and choose what is best for us. That being said comprehensive data protection legislation is requirement of the hour.
Facebook has already taken the most important steps to prevent such a situation from happening again, Zuckerberg said. For example, in 2014, it reduced access outside apps had to user data. However, some of the measures didn’t take effect until a year later, allowing Cambridge to access the data in the intervening months. An app’s developer will no longer have access to data from people who haven’t used that app in three months. Data will also be generally limited to user names, profile photos and email, unless the developer signs a contract with Facebook and gets user approval.
Earlier in the day, an academic who developed the app used by Cambridge Analytica to harvest data said that he had no idea his work would be used in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Authorities in Britain and the United States are investigating the alleged improper use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based political research firm.
Facebook shares have dropped some 9 per cent, lopping more than $50 billion off the company’s market value, since the revelations were first published, raising questions about whether social media sites are violating users’ privacy. Facebook itself is drawing criticism from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic for its alleged failure to protect users’ privacy.
Mark Zuckerberg did admit that it is FB responsibility to protect and preserve the data. We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it. There lies the truth.
Jayanthi S Maniam
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)