Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are in trouble for compromising data of over 50 million users. The data was used for voter profiling during the 2016 US elections. The data was obtained through an app that got access to user’s data.

CA claims to be a data-driven firm and boasts of US president Donald Trump as their client. Through the data-driven campaign, targeted pro-Trump ads were displayed on users who were identified as potential swing voters.

It is also believed that Facebook manipulated users during the Brexit elections by displaying anti-EU ads.

Facebook news

Facebook also caused a ruckus in the Indian Parliament when a minister blamed the opposition of hiring the firm Cambridge Analytica for the general elections.

The Information and Broadcast Minister summoned Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions on the misuse of data and warned the giant of strict action.

Mark Zukerberg

Following the scandal, Facebook’s stock plummeted losing more than 50 billion in market capitalization. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was also summoned to the British parliament to answer questions on the data breach and privacy of users.

EU had already slapped a fine of over 100 million dollars last year for sharing data with its acquired firm WhatsApp. It also brought in General Data Protection Regulation to protect data of the users.

Facebook stock

Perhaps the worst blow came when a particular hashtag #DeleteFacebook started trending on Twitter. Even WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Action, who sold his company to Facebook in 2014 joined the movement with a tweet – “It is time. #deletefacebook”.

Elon Musk also deleted pages of Tesla and SpaceX on Facebook after being challenged. He went on to call the pages ‘lame anyway’.

The biggest question here is did Facebook know of the breach? Shouldn’t the social media giant be checking how their user’s data is being utilized by third-party applications?

 

Even if Facebook had turned a blind eye to the scandal it is of no surprise because from the very beginning user’s data was Facebook’s biggest asset and Mark Zuckerberg himself had malicious intentions.

Here is a leaked chat from his dorm room when he was 19.

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
Friend: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb f***s

Is this for real? You bet, The CEO himself admitted sending those messages and said he regrets it.

His attitude towards users mirrors Facebook’s, there has been one privacy issue over another and Facebook had done little to fix it.
One can only hope that the CEO has matured since then and respects the privacy of users.

What does Mark have to say?

Mark Zuckerberg at the beginning of 2018 vowed to fix Facebook – “We are making too many mistakes in implementing policies and preventing abuse of social networking tools,” he said in a post on his goals for the year 2018.

 

And it clearly seems he hasn’t lived up to it.

 

The CEO was initially silent on the issue despite his company losing billions within the first few days. After panic among investors and backlash from users, he was forced to issue a full-page apology in newspapers. One can say Mark has lived long enough to see himself become the villain.

What happens next?

The news will trend for a while and as it is with most things it will cool down and people will forget about it.

However, one thing is for certain – stricter data protection laws will be put into place. Governments would try to strangle the data flow and keep a close watch especially when it is threatening the very system of democracy.

Considering data is the biggest asset of Facebook it would be interesting to watch how they respond to the restrictions.