There’s no way lawmakers in Washington are going to “like” this latest bit of Facebook news.
Facebook said Wednesday that it now trusts its private-data scandal may have affected as many as 87 million users.
Previous reports had pegged the social networkleaking the private information of as many as 50 million users without their permission to Cambridge Analytica, a political research firm affiliated with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The bombshell was buried near the bottom of a Wednesday blog post from the social network’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, who detailed the company’s plans to restrict the data that apps could collect from users.
“In total, we trust the Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the US — may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,” Schroepfer wrote.
“Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we trust most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped,” he said.
This coming Monday, all Facebook users will receive a notice on their 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 whose data got shared with Cambridge Analytica also will be notified.
Also on Wednesday, Facebook said it would rewrite its terms of service to be more transparent about what data it collects from its users and how it uses it.
The social network sought to spell out controversial policies, such as its collecting call and SMS information from users’ phones, in plain English.
“We also collect contact information if you choose to upload, sync or import it (such as an address book or call log or SMS log history), which we use for things like helping you and others find people you may know,” the terms now state.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company’s moves come a day after Mark Zuckerberg refused to commit to enacting Europe’s new, enhanced data privacy standards for Facebook’s users in the US.
The 33-year-old billionaire said in an interview with Reuters Tuesday that Facebook is looking into new global standards that “should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” but declined to give specifics.