Facebook has launched a tool which allows users to find out whether their information has been shared with Cambridge Analytica, which harvested as many as 87 million Facebook users’ personal data.
Most users will see a message saying that “neither you nor your friends logged into ‘This Is Your Digital Life’”, the personality quiz that Cambridge Analytica used to gather its data.
But some 6,000 Maltese Facebook users will see a message saying “a friend of yours did log in,” meaning that personal data, including their public profile, page likes, birthday and current city, were likely shared with the company, as well as potentially the contents of their news feed at the time.
Last week, the European Commission said that personal data from more than 6,000 Maltese Facebook users was shared with Cambridge Analytica. The commission said up to 2.7 million EU citizens may have fallen victim to data harvesting.
More Maltese citizens were targetted than Estonia, Latvia and Luxembourg, despite these countries having bigger populations.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the ‘This Is Your Digital Life’ app, which was designed by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan to collect data on Americans on behalf of Cambridge Analytica’s British counterpart SCL, requested access to user inboxes through the read_mailbox permission.
Facebook users can restrict the information that their friends could share about them to apps they were using. This can be done here (Facebook’s Settings page) by clicking on Apps and Websites. Up until recently, Facebook had a setting (under “Apps Others Use”) that users could use but now these reviewed under ‘Apps and websites.’”