During the first few months of 2018, a huge data-privacy breach affected millions of Facebook users. In March, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica (CA) had harvested users’ personal data without their consent, using a Facebook app it had created called thisisyourdigitalife.
Developers collecting private information, such as email address or birthdate, is not uncommon, but CA was using it without users’ knowledge for political research. In April, Facebook announced that CA actually may have had up to 87 million users’ data, many more than the number originally reported.
Over the course of the year, the scrutiny only got worse for Facebook. Its WhatsApp messaging service was accused of inciting genocide in Myanmar, and the examples of how bad actors can abuse its platforms just kept piling on. And there’s no better example of this than the spread of misinformation on Facebook led by right-wing conspiracy theorists.
Just when you thought Facebook was catching a break, it disclosed a security issue that exposed the private data of 29 million users, ,of which 14 million had very detailed information about their lives stolen.
Hopefully 2019 will be abetter year for Facebook.