Election 2016

Facebook: Data From 87 Million Users Shared With Cambridge Analytica

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

For several weeks it has been reported that Cambridge Analytica, the data firm behind Trump's campaign, accessed the personal information of at least 50 million Facebook users worldwide without their consent, but Facebook has just disclosed a much larger number.

Facebook now says at least 87 million users just inside the United States (not worldwide) had their information shared with Cambridge.

Facebook says it will tell people, in a notice at the top of their news feeds starting April 9, if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. The revelation hints at the drilling Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg will likely have to face when he testifies on the matter before Congress next week: How many other Cambridge Analytica-scale leaks of data are out there?

Good question. I don't think anyone is going to like the answer.

I also don't think 87 million will be the final number we hear. Facebook is still uncovering accounts controlled by Russia's professional troll operation.

If you're a Facebook user and you receive one of their notices next week, let us know.

  • Christopher Foxx

    If you’re a Facebook user…

    Heh. Good one. You’re funny.

  • gescove

    I deleted my account about a month ago. I was already pissed about the constant barrage of adverts. I became extra pissed with FB’s ridiculous denials, then grudging admissions, about turning a blind eye to Russian political trolls (was being paid in rubles a clue, Zuck?). When the nexus with Cambridge became clear, that ripped it. I went from deactivated to deleted. F*ck Zuck. My actual friends know how to e-mail or call me.

    • Agatha Said

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  • muselet

    And to think, people used to think I was crazy because I don’t have a Facebook account.

    –alopecia

    • For me, it’s the ONLY way I can keep up with my large, dispersed family. They don’t call each other and they don’t email but they do FB quite a lot. Other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, etc aren’t in their vocabulary (at least not the older ones like myself). Cutting the FB cord would be cutting myself off from the only support system that I have. Sad, but true.

      • muselet

        I get it, and I’m not telling anyone to stop using Facebook. I can get away with not doing that social media bollocks, but not everyone can.

        I just wish there were a platform like FB that wasn’t run by someone like Mark Zuckerberg.

        –alopecia

        • I totally agree. Unfortunately, FB has such a market capture (approx 2 billion users….) at this point, it would almost impossible for anyone else to get into the market.

        • ninjaf

          There is Google+, MeWe, and others. Those are just the two I know of off the top of my head.

      • Christopher Foxx

        How did families ever manage to keep in touch before Facebook?

        • Wow, that’s an original comeback…not. My family lives on the East coast. I have no money to travel to see them and they have no money to travel to see me. We all HATE talking on the phone, and my one sister NEVER answers phone calls or texts–NEVER. Plus the time difference makes it harder because by the time I get off work they’re getting ready for bed. And we all work, have kids, etc, etc. It takes two weeks to get a letter in snail mail and they don’t use email to communicate either. Only thing many of my family uses email for is to forward right wing conspiracy emails. I do use email to communicate but they don’t. So how do you propose I talk to them? Not to mention seeing photos of my 14 nieces and nephews as they grow up (and 7 great nieces and nephews, and tons of cousins). Hate FB all you want but it does actually enhance the life of someone like me–an overly busy, introverted and single mother who lives thousands of miles away from her family.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Touched a sore spot, did I? You’re rather defensive of your use of Facebook.

            If you like Facebook, find it convenient and don’t mind their intrusions in your life, then that’s fine, of course.

            But I don’t see that, for keeping in touch, it’s really any less effort than, for the obvious example, email. Adding comments and photos to a web page is no easier than adding them to an email. And in some ways email could be considered better, since it means you’d see everything your relatives send out rather than having to go to their pages and scroll to see what’s new.

            And without all that helping-mess-with-elections and sell-your-personal-data overhead.

          • It’s a sore spot because some liberals have been obsessively blaming everyone who uses Facebook for the problem. The problem is those users who took those stupid quizzes and the professor who sold the data, against Facebook policy.

            Like I said, most of my family refuse to use email and if they do, they simply forward clickbait emails from rightwing sources. So that isn’t an option.

            And finally, I’m not okay with what they did with the data. We should all be contacting our Congressional Reps and Sens to rake Zukcerberg over the coals and to impose privacy regulations similar to what is used in Germany.

    • Victor the Crab

      You’re not crazy. Singed, fellow not-Facebook user and despiser of Mark Zuckerberg.