Facebook users may about to see the first informative post in a long time at the top of their News Feeds today as Facebook has announced that it will be sending alerts to those affected by the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Facebook has estimated that around 87 million users had their personal information harvested and used by Cambridge Analytica. The majority of the users affected are believed to be based in the US (around 70 million) with another million users in the UK, Indonesia and the Philippines.
All 2.2 billion Facebook users will see one of two notices at the the top of their News Feed – one for those affected directly by the data leak and a more general one. Both are titled ‘Protecting your Information’ and will provide advice on monitoring data sharing on Facebook, but the message for those already affected will alert them to this.
Read it and weep
Though Facebook is estimating around 87 million users have been affected, this number isn’t actually concrete. Cambridge Analytica has said that it had data on around 30 million users, while Facebook said it settled on the figure of 87 million by calculating the maximum number of friends that users could have had while Cambridge Analytica was actively using its personality quiz to harvest data.
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie, on the other hand, said (opens in new tab)the number could be even higher than this. As it is, no one is entirely sure just how many people have been affected.
This news comes not long after Mark Zuckerberg accepted blame for the scandal and agreed to testify before the US Congress, while Facebook itself made it easier for users to understand and change the data they’re sharing. However, Facebook is far from out of the woods after it's emerged (opens in new tab) that the social media company was asking hospitals for the medical data of patients.
As a result of this continually evolving data scandal, Facebook's value has plummeted (opens in new tab) and at this point in time it's hard to tell when, or if, the company will recover.