The Facebook Data Breach
April 6, 2018
On March 17, 2018, the New York Times reported that Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm, had used the data of 50 million Facebook users during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. More specifically, this data was used to research ways in which voters in the presidential campaign could be manipulated to vote for a certain candidate.
Since the release of this information, Facebook has pledged to delete as much of the data as possible, but some of the data sold to Cambridge Analytica may remain elsewhere, as copies of the original data.
Researchers at Cambridge Analytica collected results from a Facebook quiz, and analyzed user profiles to check for correlations between the two subjects.
Facebook’s stock price has dropped from $185 on March 16, to $159 on March 24. This drop in stock price reflects investor sentiment in the company, and the mild panic in the financial world regarding the leak through Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook also owns the popular social media application Instagram and acquired the social media application Snapchat in 2014.
In light of the leak, users on social media outlets such as Twitter and Reddit have expressed outrage toward these events.
However, it is unlikely that the data breach will have any lasting impact on the Facebook corporation. Previous exposures of Facebook’s misuse of user data have done nothing to dent the world’s largest social media outlet. The author of this article expects Facebook’s stock price to quickly rebound.
Author’s update: During the first week of April, it was revealed that 87 million Facebook users may have been affected.