ALL TECHNOLOGY ,MOBILE,WHATS APP,FACEBOOK,USEFULL TIPS

Data Breach: How Will The Biggest Scandal That Facebook Is Mired In Affect Its Credibility In India?

Data Breach: How Will The Biggest Scandal That Facebook Is Mired In Affect Its Credibility In India?

Facebook has not been able to catch a break lately. Rebuked for the misinformation spread on its platform by Russian agencies during the 2016 US presidential election, aiding Donald Trump’s victory, Facebook was on the defensive for most of 2017. Making matters worse for the Menlo Park, California-headquartered social media behemoth, another one of its past oversights has now come back to haunt it in what is undoubtedly its biggest public relations challenge.


Reports by the New York Times and the Observer of London on March 17 disclosed that a researcher linked to Cambridge Analytica (CA), a political consulting firm that worked on Trump’s campaign, had accessed details of 50 million Facebook users unbeknownst to them and shared it with CA, which uses online data to reach voters on social media with personalised messages. The reports were based on revelations by whistle-blower Christopher Wylie, who had worked with CA.
  • This is how it unfolded: in 2014, CA hired Aleksandr Kogan, a Soviet-born American citizen, to mine data on US voters on Facebook, through a personality quiz app. It was downloaded by 2,70,000 users, who logged in with their Facebook credentials. That enabled Kogan to access not just their data on Facebook, but also their friends’ profiles. Facebook says Kogan lied that the data was only for his research, while there was a commercial element to it as CA paid for the app. It is unclear at this point how exactly the data was used or whether it was effective.
In 2015, Facebook removed his app and sought an assurance from him that the data had been destroyed. But it later found out that the information had been passed on to CA. Facebook has since stopped apps from accessing information about a user’s friends and has even limited the data that can be collected about the user.
While the broad details of the issue have been known since 2015, the sheer number of accounts that were compromised was not known till now and has led to calls for Facebook to be deleted, with #DeleteFacebook trending on Twitter. The company, one of the world’s most valuable public companies, has shed $75 billion, or 14% of its market value, since March 16.
As Facebook spends the next few months trying to convince its users that their data is safe, India will be crucial to their plans. India is, after all, its largest market, with 250 million monthly active users, 12% of its global base, according to recent data by We Are Social and Hootsuite, firms involved in social media marketing and management, respectively.
  • Soumya Sinha, a 32-year-old data consultant in Delhi, says FB is quite passive-aggressive when it comes to data. “It gives you a lot of privacy options, makes you feel you are in control of your wall, but buries an ‘unless you don’t want to share’ option at the bottom,” he says. “If you don’t opt out, it assumes you are happy to share. Even if you do, you can never be sure the non-consensual sharing has stopped.”
  • Privacy controls — not just on Facebook but on social media platforms in general — are not easy to find and even the most tech-savvy have a hard time ensuring the accounts are as secure as they can possibly be. “Indians are very liberal with others accessing their data. A lot of other accounts are linked to my FB account. Who knows which one of them will provide my data to others?” says Prateek Kharangar, a 30-year-old doctor in Rajasthan.