Facebook is scrambling to placate users, advertisers and investors following a string of damaging news reports about the misuse of user data.
Last week, Facebook confirmed that Cambridge Analytica , a data firm hired by President Trump’s campaign, had violated the company’s policies when it purchased the data of 50 million users from a researcher who accessed it in 2013. The stock plunged, lawmakers began demanding answers and users threatened to quit the social network altogether.
Cambridge Analytica says it has begun its own investigation to see if the firm engaged in wrongdoing, and in a Facebook post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook knew about the policy violation in 2015. Facebook asked the data firm and the researcher to certify that the information had been deleted, but it didn’t notify users at the time.
Now, Facebook is facing a wave of backlash for not doing more to prevent information from being abused. Although the trove of information used by Cambridge Analytica was downloaded before 2015, the year Facebook implemented stricter data policies, it has exposed an ugly truth for the social network: user information that was accessed during the company’s earlier years can still be abused today.
In the video above, we take a look at how Facebook’s lax policies of the past regarding the sharing of data paved the way for the company’s current crisis.