The Facebook data scandal has taken a turn. After media reports confirmed the data leak, Facebook confirmed on Wednesday that information from 87 million users may have been compromised by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
The data breach was initially reported to be 50 million. According to Reuters, Facebook acknowledged it was 87 million users, which is an increase of 37 million user accounts whose data was utilized by the data firm.
“Most of the 87 million people whose data was shared with Cambridge Analytica, which worked on U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, were in the United States, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer wrote in a blog post.”
On March 14, the world’s largest social network had suspended Cambridge Analytica from its platform. In addition, the data had been initially used by a psychology professor for a personality quiz app. That data designed for research purposes was later passed on to the data firm.
In the news release above, Facebook confirmed they are taking the necessary steps to restrict the data to just third-party app developers. The social and tech giant has been facing mounting scrutiny from regulators in the U.S and in the U.K. An investigation by British lawmakers has begun.
The news of the data breach has not just prompted lawmakers to look into the company’s handling of data. It has also affected the company’s financials. As reported by the New York Times, stock prices have plummeted and Facebook has lost $100 billion in market capitalization.
Omg. Facebook admits Cambridge Analytica harvested 87 million profiles. Including 1 million Brits. Gob smacked. https://t.co/EPN0SYED0k
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) April 4, 2018
Almost a month earlier, the company did publicly admit there was unauthorized access to millions of accounts of Facebook users. Furthermore, the data firm based in the UK had access to user information.
Cambridge Analytica had access to data from 87 million Facebook users — not 50 million — Facebook said today.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to testify before Congress next week. pic.twitter.com/2UAW3uIU1B
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 4, 2018
With lawmakers raising concerns about the data breach, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will testify soon. In a report, Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before a House Panel on April 11 to discuss the issue of the data scandal.
The interrogation will be headed by Rep. Greg Walden, who is the chair of the committee. Assisting Walden will be ranking member Frank Pallone Jr. who will be facilitating more insight for Americans to understand what exactly happened with the information obtained from Facebook users.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 4, 2018
Facebook shares were down 1.4 percent and stock prices ended at $153.90. The hearing is bound to reveal more insight about how the information from 87 million users was used.