|Mark Zuckerberg spent 45 minutes answering media questions after new figures show up to 87 million people may have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica data breach, more than 2.7 million of who live in Asean
Video by Bloomberg
In its latest mea culpa, social media giant Facebook has admitted that the number of its users whose data was improperly shared with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was in fact 74 per cent higher than previously thought, now exceeding 87 million people.
Equivalent to almost 27 per cent of the entire US population, a chart released by the company shows that Facebook users in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam were among the top ten countries were data is thought to have been scraped, with a combined total of almost 2.7 million people thought to be affected.
Worse. The company says it does “not know precisely what data” was shared with Cambridge Analytica, or “exactly how many people were impacted”. To make matters more worse, the company said it believes that most of its 2.2 billion users “could have had their public profile scraped”.
Philippines, Indonesia world #2 & #3 for data loss
According to the company some 1.75 million Facebook users in the Philippines could have had some of their data harvested, second only to Facebook users in the USA.
The third most number of victims are Facebook users in Indonesia, where some 1.1 million people are possibly affected, followed by about 427,000 Facebook users in Vietnam, the ninth ranked country globally.
While no other Asean countries were listed in the top ten, Facebook reported that 65,000 Facebook users in Singapore may have been affected.
The number of Facebook users in other Asean countries affected was not available prior to publication, though it has been reported that Cambridge Analytica has previously been actively involved in election camapigns in Thailand and Malaysia.
At a media teleconference in the US Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg accepted responsibility for security procedures which had failed to protect users’ data, vowing to do better in the future.
The data breach occurred when some 270,000 Facebook users installed an app that paid people to take a personality test, similar to the way many companies use online services to gather information. The app then crawled through that user’s’ Facebook page, pillaging and plundering data at will, exponentially adding to the number of users affected.
Facebook has said that it is restricting the access that apps can get about users’ events, as well as information they can obtain from groups, including member lists and content. Additionally, it is removing the option to search for users by telephone number or by email address.
While Mr Zuckerberg believes that the company has not felt “any meaningful impact” from user behaviour or from advertisers and that he is still the right person to lead the company, stock holders are sending a clear message. At the time of writing Facebook shares were trading at $155.10, down from a high of $193.09 on February 1, a fall of 19.67 per cent.
- Facebook says up to 87m people affected in Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal (ABC News)
- 3.6m Asian Facebook users may have had harvested data passed on to Cambridge Analytica (Mumbrella Asia)
- More than 65,000 Singapore Facebook users possibly affected by Cambridge Analytica data breach (Channel NewsAsia)