As of Monday, Facebook will warn its 87 million users affected by data theft from the company Cambridge Analytica. Amongst these are 60,957 Belgians. They were specifically in contact with a given individual, having uploaded a malicious software application, which sent their data to Cambridge Analytica.
The business Cambridge Analytica, using a personality quiz to which 270,000 individuals responded, harvested the data of 87 million people in 2014. The overall Facebook user total harvested included quiz participants’ “Facebook friends”. The total figure is the most recent given by Facebook. The British company thus had the means to build a valuable database, before being hired by Donald Trump’s campaign team. The company then used all such data for political ends.
The majority of individuals affected by this scandal are American users. However, Facebook has informed the European Commission that 2.7 million such people are European citizens, among which nearly 61,000 are Belgian. All of these members of the social network will be warned by a banner at the top of their post and news feed, as of today.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, is due to appear before Congress to give evidence to its members on Tuesday and Wednesday. In particular, the young billionaire must explain how it was possible for his group to lose the data of tens of millions of its members in this way.