Facebook data on 3 million users reportedly exposed through personality quiz

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Fb information on greater than three million individuals who took a character quiz was revealed onto a poorly protected web site the place it might have been accessed by unauthorized events, in keeping with New Scientist. In a report exposing the potential leak, New Scientist says that the info contained Fb customers’ solutions to a character trait check. Whereas it didn’t embrace customers’ names, in lots of instances it contained their age, gender, and relationship standing. For 150,000 individuals, it even contained their standing updates.

All that information was alleged to be accessible solely to authorized researchers via a collaborative web site. Nonetheless, New Scientist discovered that a username and password that granted entry to the info could possibly be discovered “in lower than a minute” with an internet search, enabling anybody to obtain the trove of non-public data.

There are quite a lot of similarities to Cambridge Analytica

The information was gathered by a psychology check known as myPersonality, in keeping with New Scientist. Round half of the check’s 6 million individuals are stated to have allowed their data be anonymously shared with researchers. The staff behind myPersonality let any researcher who agreed to make use of the info anonymously signal as much as entry the knowledge that had been collected; in complete, 280 individuals got entry, together with workers of Fb and different main tech firms, in keeping with the report.

The fundamentals right here all sound remarkably just like what occurred with Cambridge Analytica, which gained entry to data from greater than 87 million Fb customers because of a character check known as thisisyourdigitallife. In each instances, the exams had been initially made by College of Cambridge researchers. And each even had one researcher in widespread: Aleksandr Kogan.

Kogan was the creator of thisisyourdigitallife, and in keeping with New Scientist, he was listed as a part of the myPersonality challenge till mid-2014; it sounds as if the challenge started round 2009. The College of Cambridge advised New Scientist that myPersonality was began earlier than its creator joined the college and didn’t undergo its ethics evaluate course of.

It’s not recognized whether or not the info was improperly accessed utilizing the publicly out there username and password. A Fb spokesperson advised New Scientist that the app was being investigated and could be banned if it “refuses to cooperate or fails our audit.” As a part of its ongoing investigation into misuse of consumer information, Fb stated this morning that it had to date suspended 200 apps pending evaluate. That included myPersonality.

Whereas a leak of three million customers’ information is much smaller than the 87 million obtained by Cambridge Analytica, the story nonetheless serves as one other warning of how simply this data can unfold round and simply how detailed it may be. One of many larger points right here is that, regardless that the info was alleged to be anonymized, New Scientist factors out that it simply might have been re-identified utilizing the additional Fb data connected to every character check.

Supply hyperlink – https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/14/17352900/facebook-data-exposed-personality-quiz

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