Facebook scandal affects up to 87M users


Associated Press

NEW YORK

Facebook revealed Wednesday that tens of millions more people might have been exposed in the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal than previously thought and said it will restrict the user data that outsiders can access.

Those developments came as congressional officials said CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify next week, while Facebook unveiled a new privacy policy that aims to explain the data it gathers on users more clearly – but doesn’t actually change what it collects and shares.

In a call with reporters Wednesday, Zuckerberg acknowledged he made a “huge mistake” in failing to take a broad enough view of what Facebook’s responsibility is in the world. He said it isn’t enough for Facebook to believe app developers when they say they follow the rules. He says Facebook has to ensure they do.

Facebook is facing its worst privacy scandal in years after allegations that Cambridge Analytica, a Trump-affiliated data mining firm, used ill-gotten data from millions of users through an app to try to influence elections.

Facebook said Wednesday that as many as 87 million people might have had their data accessed – an increase from the 50 million disclosed in published reports. Facebook is basing the estimate in part on the number of friends each user might have had. Cambridge Analytica said in a statement that it had data for only 30 million people.

On Monday, all Facebook users will receive a notice on their Facebook feeds with a link to see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps. They’ll have a chance to delete apps they no longer want. Users who might have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica will be told of that. Facebook said most of the affected users are in the U.S.

Zuckerberg said fixing the company’s problems will take years.

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