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Facebook & Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook has sent out messages to users to highlight whether your data was involved in the reported issue involving the "This Is Your Digital Life" app and Cambridge Analytica. We explain a little more about what is involved in the permissions for apps and what you need to be thinking when keeping your data safe.

By now, you should have had an alert from Facebook to advise if your Facebook account was involved in the incident where data was reported to have been misused by an agency called Cambridge Analytica. This is the alert I received on my Facebook Profile –

So because one of my Facebook Friends logged into the “This Is Your Digital Life” using the Facebook login, the app was given certain permissions. These permissions, allowed the app to ‘take’ information about me.

Checking the specifics reveals a little more clarification as to exactly what information of mine was shared.

Should I be worried about what information I share/have shared on Facebook?

Generally speaking, no.

This was largely an isolated incident where a company allegedly abused what they were supposed to have done with that data. There are many circumstances where apps really do need to know information about you – this is not something to be fearful of, but rather to understand what it means, so you’re empowered to make an educated decision as to whether you grant that permission or not.

For example, if you want to check in to a physical location on Facebook. There’s a good reason why Facebook may need your location; it uses this information to show you a list of locations nearby.

What this does potentially show us (and arguably, this is nothing new) is that the information we ‘put online’ is potentially accessible, so we do need to be careful (thoughtful) about what we’re putting out there.

Even if we’ve changed our privacy/security settings, once you put information out on to a platform like Facebook (like a photo for example), it’s kind of out there.

I don’t think you need to be concerned with the security of the information you share on Facebook – this type of abuse isn’t prevalent – but it’s worth checking out your security settings and seeing which app has access, to which categories of your data. If you don’t recognise an app and/or it’s something you don’t use anymore, you should just cut it off.

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