by Graham Pierrepoint
Yes – it certainly seems like one of our favorite topics here of late, but there really is no avoiding quite how colossal the scandal over Facebook sharing data with Cambridge Analytica really is. The social network reportedly allowed 50 million users’ details to be shared without their prior knowledge to the political consultancy which, at the time, was researching to help support the Trump presidential campaign. Ethics aside, this story is one which has snowballed to the extent where the value of the network, both in the eyes of its users and in terms of its monetary heft on the stock market, has plunged dramatically.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly discussed the issue and has reportedly apologized for the matter – however, further reports suggest that he has refused to appear before a UK committee to offer evidence for a fake news investigation several times – and, up until recent days, Facebook seemed altogether eerily quiet about the issues that were staring its users in the face. Midweek has come and gone and now – it seems – efforts are being made in an attempt to reassure users about what exactly will happen to their data moving forwards.
Watch: ▶ Mark Zuckerberg Apologizes Amid Facebook Privacy Concerns Over User Data
Facebook have advised in a blog post that they will roll out new tools for people to be able to clearly see and edit the data that apps and the social network itself hold on them – and they will also be able to see what happens to their personal and private information moving forwards. The new scheme is being called ‘Access Your Information’ – and it will reportedly allow you to delete more of your data from Facebook than ever before.
Watch: ▶ Facebook Privacy Announcement Is All About Timing
The news comes as a clear motion to try and regain control of a situation which has already led to many people taking action on the data they hold and even leaving the network in disgust – at a time where Facebook was in the midst of trying to steer people away from merely using the platform for news and memes and more for sharing their lives, this is more than a minor setback.
While Facebook is emerging with its hands up and while further controversies appear to swarm around Cambridge Analytica, is it too little, too late for the network that started the social revolution? Time will tell.