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Facebook data scandal: All you need to know about the massive data breach controversy

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The Facebook data breach has shaken up the entire world. One of the most used social networking site now has created a question in people’s mind — whether your private data shared on social networking is safe or not.

Facebook is facing the heat after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump, and the Brexit campaign as well.

Well, the data breach controversy didn’t take time to hit Indian politics. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament on Wednesday, Ravi Shankar Prasad also triggered a political war of words when he accused the main Opposition Congress party of having links with Cambridge Analytica, the Facebook associate under the scanner.


But, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later apologised for the data and also said he was ready to testify if necessary. But will this really help, after the data breach is done? It’s hard to tell if the data breach has helped politicians in election campaigns, but one thing is for sure that your personal information and data shared on Facebook is not safe. The policy where Facebook always says that your personal information is save with us, is perhaps false. Facebook not only created a controversy but also broke the trust with it users, and people might think twice before joining Facebook.

So let us know what the whole data breach controversy is all about

  • 01

    Company involved in data breach

    Cambridge Analytica, the London-based data consultancy firm in the midst of a global row, has allegedly been using Facebook users' data to unfairly influence election results by psychological manipulation.

  • 02

    Data of 50 million Facebook users breached

    Cambridge Analytica is accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians.

  • 03

    Whistleblower broke the controversy

    Whistleblower Christopher Wylie told The New York Times and The Observer how the firm used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.

  • 04

    Whistleblower claims data used for elections

    Christopher Wylie claimed that the Facebook data was used to develop "psychographic" profiles of people and deliver pro-Trump material to them online during the 2016 US elections.

  • 05

    Exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles

    “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on,” Christopher Wylie, who worked with a Cambridge University academic to obtain the data, told the Observer.

  • 06

    Cambridge Analytica caught on camera

    Britain's Channel 4 News on Monday exposed how senior executives at Cambridge Analytica were caught on camera suggesting that the firm could use sex workers, bribes and misinformation in order to try and help political candidates win votes around the world.

  • 07

    Channel 4 News investigation

    The Channel 4 News investigation followed articles published by The New York Times and The Observer that outlined how the data of millions of Facebook profiles ended up being given to Cambridge Analytica. The company have denied any wrongdoing.

  • 08

    App that collected data

    Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research created an app called "thisisyourdigitallife" in 2014. The users were paid to take a psychological test and the app collected the data. It also gathered data on a person's Facebook friends.

  • 09

    Aleksandr Kogan admits harvesting personal details

    Kogan has admitted harvesting the personal details of 30 million Facebook users via the app. He was quoted by the Guardian as saying that he passed the data to Cambridge Analytica who assured him this was legal.

  • 10

    Facebook denies data breach

    “The claim that this is a data breach is completely false,” Paul Grewal, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Facebook said on Saturday. 

  • 11

    People knowingly provided their information

    “People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked,” Paul Grewal added.

  • 12

    #deletefacebook trends

    As Facebook reels from the scandal over hijacked personal data, a movement to quit the social network has gathered momentum (#deletefacebook).

  • 13

    WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton asks to delete Facebook

    Amid rising speculations of social media giant Facebook’s involvement in the alleged misuse of users’ private data, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton took to Twitter asking everyone to delete Facebook, said “It is time. #deletefacebook”.

  • 14

    Indian Government warns Facebook

    Indian Government has also warned Facebook of "stringent" action for any attempt to influence polls by allowing data theft and even threatened to summon its CEO Mark Zuckerberg if needed.

  • 15

    India cautioned Mark Zuckerberg

    BJP leader and IT & Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that 20 crore Indians are using Facebook, making it the company's largest market outside of the US. The minister also cautioned the social media giant and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg of repercussions under the IT Act in case of any data breach came to light.

  • 16

    BJP attacks Congress on its links with Cambridge Analytica

    Ravi Shankar Prasad also launched a scathing attack on the Congress, questioning the party on its relation with Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm accused of harvesting personal user data from Facebook illegally to influence polls in several countries.

  • 17

    Congress responds to BJP's accusation

    In response to BJP's accusation Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Indian National Congress or the Congress President has never used or never hired the services of a company called Cambridge Analytica. It is a fake agenda and white lie being dished out by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.”

  • 18

    Mark Zuckerberg admits mistakes

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today admitted that his company made mistakes on user data secrecy and vowed to take steps to prevent the misuse or breach of personal data of users by developers or business partners.

  • 19

    I'm responsible for what happens on Facebook

    "I started Facebook, and at the end of the day, I'm responsible for what happens on our platform. I'm serious about doing what it takes to protect our community," Mark Zuckerberg said.

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