Cambridge Apocalyptica: Facebook’s Platform-App Privacy Disaster

Facebook was thrown into full-blown crisis after reports that Cambridge Analytica, a shadowy voter-profiling company, used information from tens of millions of Facebook users’ profiles as part of its work for the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. At issue was Facebook’s failure to give users control over their private data shared through a Facebook-platform app, a risk that the ACLU of Northern California has long called out as a serious privacy concern. Facebook’s stock immediately declined sharply on the news, state and federal law enforcement announced investigations, a Congressional inquiry sought every excruciating detail, and users clamored to #DeleteFacebook. When CEO Mark Zuckerberg emerged publicly with yet another promise to change, the damage—to users, the brand, and the bottom line—was already done. Facebook’s stock plummeted in the following quarter, losing more than 120 billion dollars in market value and suffering the biggest one-day loss in stock market history – as its “years of privacy controversies finally caught up with it.” After a four-year legal fight, Facebook was forced to pay $725 million to settle a data privacy class action stemming from the Cambridge Analytica crisis.
































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