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Facebook: Personal data of most our 2 billion users shared with outsiders

Staff Writer |
“Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped,” the company wrote in its blog post.

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Facebook for the first time detailed the scale of the improper data collection for Cambridge Analytica, a political data consultancy hired by President Trump and other Republican candidates in the last two federal election cycles.

The political consultancy gained access to Facebook information on up to 87 million users, most of them Americans, Facebook said.

Cambridge Analytica obtained the data to build “psychographic” profiles that would help deliver targeted messages intended to shape voter behavior in a wide range of U.S. elections.

“Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped,” the company wrote in its blog post.

The scraping by malicious actors typically involved gathering public profile information — including names, email addresses and phone numbers, according to Facebook — by using a “search and account recovery” function that Facebook said it has now disabled.


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