The Cambridge Analytica-Facebook fiasco started when Dr. Aleksandr Kogan developed a quiz app called “thisisyourdigitallife” and managed to obtain user data through that app by scraping data from the profiles of people who took the quiz as well as that of their friends—apparently allowed under Facebook’s policy for third-party apps at the time!!
This is the scariest part: Although only about 270,000 people took the survey, the New York Times reports, yet that Dr. Kogan was able to obtain data on 50 million users, probably through connections and other means! And per the report, Cambridge Analytica paid to acquire the personal information from the Doctor, who Facebook says, claimed to be collecting it for academic purposes. After initially denying the claims, Facebook posted a statement acknowledging the breach and promising to take action.
Read CSO’s Ashwin Krishnan’s quick post-mortem on the mechanics of this breach, the impact on what it means to a platform vendor and ultimately what you as a consumer can and must do going forward, on CSO.