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Facebook reports new data breach, over 87 million user accounts compromised

Facebook reports new data breach, over 87 million user accounts compromised

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 05 Apr 2018, 09:53 am

New York, Apr 5 (IBNS): In its latest report, social networking site Facebook has said that over 87 million user accounts were compromised due to a data breach.

The said data was siphoned by UK based political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.

Last month, whistle-blower Christopher Wylie had quoted the figure at 50 million.

Apologising for the saga, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying by BBC, "Clearly we should have done more, and we will going forward."

"Today, given what we know... I think we understand that we need to take a broader view of our responsibility.

"It is reasonable to expect that if you had that [default] setting turned on, that in the last several years someone has probably accessed your public information in this way," Zuckerberg said.

Facebook said  it will need to approve all apps that request access to information such as check-ins, likes, photos, posts, videos, events and groups.

"We started approving these permissions in 2014, but now we’re tightening our review process — requiring these apps to agree to strict requirements before they can access this data," the social media network said in a post by Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's Chief Technology Officer.

"We will also no longer allow apps to ask for access to personal information such as religious or political views, relationship status and details, custom friends lists, education and work history, fitness activity, book reading activity, music listening activity, news reading, video watch activity, and games activity. In the next week, we will remove a developer’s ability to request data people shared with them if it appears they have not used the app in the last 3 months," he said.

The company said it is also limiting the use of the Pages API by requiring all future access to the entire access layer be approved by the company.

Speaking on the data of users improperly shared, Schroepfer said:"In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the US — may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica."

Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica, has said 30 million individuals data have been obtained.

"Cambridge Analytica licensed data from GSR for 30 million individuals, not 87 million. We did not receive more than 30 million records from research company GSR," it tweeted.

Dating app Tinder users said they are facing login errors since changes were announced by Facebook.

"A technical issue is preventing users from logging into Tinder. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to have everyone swiping again soon," the app tweeted.

BBC reported: "Tinder relies on Facebook to manage its logins. Users reported that they had been signed out of the app and were unable to log in again."

The saga surfaced after Cambridge Analytica were named in an investigative report by Britain's channel 4, in the month of March.

The firm was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using them to help politicians.

According to Wylie, among the political parties which benefited from the CA was the Indian National Congress.

The aforementioned revelation came after India's Law and Justice and Information-Technology Minister, Ravishankar Prasad, had alleged that the Congress has links with Cambridge Analytica.

Reports in the Times of India have further stated that  CA used these data to "psychologically profile people and deliver material in favour of Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential elections."

Commenting on the issue, Ankush Johar, Director at Infosec Ventures - an organisation that provides complete infrastructure security solutions for commercial and government clients of all sizes, said: "Privacy today is an Urban Legend. Tech Companies, whether big or small, all are equipped with some reasoning to collect user data at mass. The difference in how they truly use it versus what they tell us how it is used is what the big variable is. Data is the new Oil, its the most valued resource on the globe today and one thing that consumers need to accept it: Nothing is Free, if it is, you are the product being sold."