Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal, explained
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Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal, explained


– By now you’ve probably heard that Facebook is scrambling to contain the fallout over a data privacy scandal. (dramatic music) Mark Zuckerberg finally
addressed the story on Wednesday, but only after a Delete Facebook campaign had started to gain
momentum around the world. – So this was a major breach of trust, and I’m really sorry that this happened. We have a basic responsibility
to protect people’s data, and if we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. – So how do we get here and
how does Facebook recover? Well, first of all, let’s
figure out what happened. So on March 16th, the New York Times and The Guardian reported
that a data mining firm named Cambridge Analytica, which had worked on Donald
Trump’s presidential campaign, had improperly obtained access to more than 50 million user profiles. Experts believe the firm
could have used that data to gain an unfair advantage
in targeting voters. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t say anything about these stories for five days. And then on Wednesday,
he wrote a Facebook post and gave an interview to CNN. – [Interviewer] I’m gonna challenge you– – But we’re here now, – I’m gonna challenge you, have you done it–
– And we’re gonna make sure that we do a good job at it. – Have you done a good enough job yet? – Well, I think we will see. – This scandal is extremely weird because we’ve known the basic details that Cambridge Analytica got access to these profiles for more than two years. It’s not clear that the data they obtained was really all that useful to them, and the number of profiles
that they supposedly obtained, 50 million, that might turn out to just be marketing hype
from Cambridge Analytica. Despite all that, this is the biggest public relations crisis Facebook has faced since the aftermath of the 2016 election. Senators are calling on
Zuckerberg to testify, the Federal Trade
Commission is investigating, British authorities are investigating, and Facebook stock price
has been declining. So let’s look at what happened. The story starts in 2014. That’s when a University
of Cambridge researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created an app called thisisyourdigitallife. About 270,000 people downloaded it, gave away their information, and Kogan, unbeknownst to them, passed along that information to a data mining and
political strategy firm, named Cambridge Analytica. At the time, Facebook’s platform API let developers like
Kogan access information about your friends as well as yourself. Christopher Wylie, who used to work at Cambridge Analytica, told The Times and The Guardian that
that was how his company was able to get access to information of as many as 50 million people. And the idea was, that by gleaning your Facebook likes,
the company could begin to understand your personality and then, more effectively target
political advertising at you. This kind of thing is known
as psychographic profiling. Experts say it can be
useful at the margins in persuading voters,
but at the same time, they say its effect can
be easily overstated. Granted, Trump’s campaign wasn’t the first to gain information about
potential supporters using Facebook. In fact, in 2012, President
Obama’s election team had created an app and
done a very similar thing. But there was a big difference. President Obama’s team told
voters what it was doing. Cambridge Analytica
obtained this information in total violation of Facebook’s rules and didn’t tell anybody who was taking Kogan’s personality quiz
that their data would eventually be used for
political advertising targeting. The Guardian revealed the scheme in 2015. Facebook went to Kogan
and Cambridge Analytica and demanded that they
delete all of the data that they had obtained in
violation of Facebook’s rules. But the reports say that, in reality, Cambridge Analytica and
Kogan never deleted the data, and Facebook never investigated to see whether they had deleted
the data as promised. This gets to the heart of why some people are deleting their Facebook
accounts right now. Facebook made it too easy
for developers like Kogan to get access to their data, to their friends’ data, and to share it. And it never informed people that their data had been improperly used. The scandal also came at a time when trust in Facebook
has never been lower. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, we saw how obviously fake stories could spread faster and more persuasively than many true ones. And we learned that Kremlin-linked groups had waged a highly effective
misinformation campaign on the platform. In some cases, even illegally buying ads. Meanwhile, new research was coming out showing that just browsing the newsfeed can make you feel worse about yourself, and a group of former Facebook executives came forward and expressed regret about their part in building the social network to begin with. In short, public perception of Facebook had become a tinderbox. Not that Tinder. But the Cambridge Analytica story was the spark that
turned it into a bonfire. After a long delay,
Zuckerberg announced plans to address abuses like
Cambridge Analytica’s. In 2014, Facebook had
already stopped developers from gaining access to
information about your friends. Now it’s going a step further. If you go three months
without using an app, Facebook is gonna cut off developer access to any information about you. And for developers that did have access to all that information,
including information about your friends way back in 2014, Facebook is going to demand that they submit to an audit or be kicked off the platform. So will this fix the problem? On one hand, it’s a start. Restricting developer access to your data could help Facebook start
to rebuild some trust. But the larger issue for Zuckerberg is that he’s really confronting
three crises at once. There’s the data privacy issue that the Cambridge
Analytica story reveals. There’s the newsfeed integrity issue and whether we can trust
what we see on Facebook. And there’s the broader cultural reckoning over social media, how
we spend our time there, and whether it’s ultimately
good for us and the world. In January, Zuckerberg said
that fixing Facebook’s platform would be his personal
challenge for the year. And yet, as he wades
into this latest crisis, five days after it began, it’s not clear Facebook is doing everything it can to address it. And as a Delete Facebook campaign starts gaining steam around the world, the challenge of fixing
Facebook’s platform feels greater than ever. (dramatic music)

100 thoughts on “Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal, explained

  1. Anyone else still a bit confused. I get that people are annoyed about their data being misused through political persuasion through advertising. Anything else?

  2. How did Cambridge's story got publicity?? as Im sure they would settle matters privately but you've never mentioned it in the video.

  3. All of you haters to this video, whether you use Facebook or not; every time you turn on your phone your privacy is being invaded by the government them selves. They also share your information with or without internet, so really our government are hypocrites and above the law.

  4. 1) don't use FB to read the news. What about reading actual reputable journals, right at the source, and becoming more knowledgeable about complex issues in all spheres of life like educated, rational human beings instead of gossiping among FB "friends" by sharing posts from some shady FB pages. Instead of being driven by irrationality and prejudice, pick up a book (or any online article) about the history of your own country and others around you; learn the culture, history, sociopolitical issues of the day and enlighten yourself with facts from reputable sources, all a few Google searches away, before doing things like voting and engaging in productive debates that can infuse your communities with fruitful knowledge and novel ideas.
    2) What about just using FB to actually stay connected and carry meaningful social interactions with people you actually know instead of having like 1000's of "friends" and showcasing your entire life to the whole world. Use those online interactions to actually enrich your real life relationships, professional networking, and overall social skills.
    3) Don't feel so entitled to services and LEARN what you're signing in for. READ FB privacy agreement and pay attention to your FB privacy settings more carefully, including what you share with 3rd part apps. You have full control over what you post and what info each app collects, beginning by actually taking the decision and applying restrain over what YOU share in FB. I know it takes time to go over your privacy settings, but it's your responsibility to do so; FB can't do it for you; they can only make it easier for you to access those settings, which in my opinion they have done pretty well (i.e. constant reminders to become informed about your current privacy settings and making the settings pages easier to read/understand).
    I agree that illegal data mining like the ones done by Cambridge Analytica without users consent should absolutely be stopped, although, those are rather exceptional cases. I would say far more pervasive and ubiquitous instances of data privacy breach are those carried out, unlawfully, by the NSA and many other U.S.A. federal agencies (and other foreign government agencies such as British and Russian intelligence agencies, just to name a few) WITHOUT people's consent, gathering far more private data in unscrupulous ways. There are ACTUAL PEOPLE working in such agencies right now that have nearly unlimited access to such personal data that isn't just being automatically collected by some algorithm (and then used for benign targeted ad displays like Google ads) and then just sitting in some server storage drive undisturbed.

    Just trying to bring some perspective to the matter.

  5. Today it is Facebook, tomorrow it might be Google as well. All these companies are thriving on users information in exchange with their free services. Why do think they are free?

  6. Facebook doing this isn't a big deal. Google, YouTube, Twitter, etc., they all track your every move, comment, like, videowatvhed, posts, etc. Google Maps told me that I visited a Taco Bell 15 miles from my house 4 years ago. It told me where I came from, the route I took and how long it took me to get there.

  7. http://s1gopro.futurenet.club/info
    Join to new social media pays you for any activity and you can still do what you on Facebook and it's fully encrypted
    http://s1gopro.futurenet.club/info

  8. Once a bit (literally what I mean) [00 || 01] is uploaded to internet . . . It stays forever even if you delete it. Old deleted codes I wrote and uploaded on github are still somewhere roaming on Internet . . .

  9. Does anyone really even care that this happened? So this company acquired data that we all put on a public website, and used that information for politics? Who is really upset about this…

  10. You have no privacy on the internet. There's never been privacy. A hacker can know where do you live, your bank account and what are you doing lately. Even the government can use your information to their advent.

  11. can someone explain me, why should i even care about it, if i'm a regular citzen,and not high executive of company like apple ?

  12. Hey zukarberg, I appreciate that u admit what you did, in India, politician make corruption, and don't even admit, they only shirks saying its opposition gimmick,

  13. This things happened to me tho I cant see what happening in the real world one person costomize my account and controlling what I have to see this weird app taking advantages to the person who doesnt know how internet works..

  14. Deleting Facebook isn't even a solution. There are other apps that you use on a daily basis and it does the same thing. They all provide APIs for devs to work with their data. It's just that Facebook got unlucky first.

  15. Facebook probably did worse.
    Perhaps facebook is even connected to NSA and CIA and… public's not gonna know.
    But hey, im just a crazy Tinfoil conspiracy theorist right?!

    I can assure you every major company is connected together somehow as a hive mind collecting everyones info.
    If anything, theres even banks of supercomputers that build your personality on every single person who uses internet.

  16. I couldn't laugh any harder about this. I've NEVER opened a personal facebook account and never understood why so many idiots would give out so much information about themselves ONLINE!!!!! Told you…..

  17. Anyone have the wright to deliver this message..
    "Samsung is allowing Facebook to gather dat from their phone by preinstalling 3 apps 1 is Facebook and 2 hidden files that cannot be deleted no matter what you do, and apps will reinstall themselves after deleting them, those 2 hidden apps are : 1 file name "Face" 2 file name Facebook manager" and they gather data without your knowledge or awareness…
    Plz investigate and spread the word…

  18. Sounds to me like people are trying to blame facebook for Trump winning. Leave Zuckerberg alone. Its advertising. Its so obvious they use your history to advertise. Here on Google. If I watch a video on a subject I get ads non-stop on that subject. Why not target Google. And it seems like Cambridge Analytica is the shady one. People dont go after that becomes there is no name recognition. Its social justice warriors at it again trying to always tear down somebody for the sake of it. As for Facebook being addicting. That is the users fault. We dont sue Budwiser for being addictive yet look at how damaging it is. You have to take responsibility for your own life and stop blaming others for spending those extra hours on facebook. Nobody forced you. Also the goal of anything is to make you want it. Youtube wants you to be one youtube for as long as possible. Thats just business.

  19. It’s only obvious when you like a certain brand . You see who else likes it .. so it shows the taste of “like minded people “ ….

  20. I believe people knew that facebook collects personal data for ads purposes a long time ago, but why such a big fuss about it now, and not before? I am actually really looking to hear some insights from you guys to help me with this.

  21. We are protecting our data by using VPNs to surf the internet a little bit more anonymously.

  22. I deleted my facebook profile roughly 5 years ago, I told people then that the reason was because I have no idea who is obtaining my data or why. I said facebook was a social profiling tool, likely used by companies and government organisations, it allows for the mass production of propaganda and directly contributes to the social devolution of human beings.

    First they call you mad. Then after a while, the start to question the same things you did. Facebook and social media in general are ways of destroying and damaging the real community built throughout our society.

  23. I've known 90% of this since I was 12 years old. And 5 years later they actually start talking about it…

    Man, gotta love those Lag Spikes.

  24. God almighty… do these idiots have to infuse their hyper-liberal spin into every story? Please disappear from the planet… quickly!

  25. There is a very privacy-focused social website sidenetcom, which is oriented to meeting new people, but could be also used as a FB alternative by those, who want privacy

  26. Facebook employees are ILLEGALLY going through private profiles and their messages! They need to be strictly monitored and PROSECUTED for breaking privacy laws! Facebook will be nothing but a memory soon enough. Zuck may have already made his greed money, but he will go down in shame with his platform. BRING THEM TO JUSTICE!!! #Fakebook

  27. Facebook lost 20% of their business overnight.
    Putting it in perspective that's the entire cost of McDonalds!
    Biggest ever fall by one company ever.

  28. guys, I was checking my apps list there is app "Facebook Services". The shocking fact is that I saw it just after doing factory reset of my phone. Its installed there from system. I dont even use Facebook but its still there. Any views?

  29. I never recalled downloading this "this is your digital life" i was informed and very pissed that my information was stolen. Makes me feel unsafe.

  30. I would like to but game is heavily depending on facebook. I need my friends and I hate to add them one by one, their username really hard to type. I literally have 100++ facebook game friends.

  31. FB steals all your contacts if you give them your cell phone number. They coerce you to give your phone number. FB is cyber piracy.

  32. wait but dint Obama do the same thing when he won. And wa even praised for "good use of social media". I'm confused. Lol

  33. Ok zuckerburg. I hate you alot but im proud of what your trying do, please just make facebook a more private place for my family who use it

  34. It will only intensify unless lawmakers act now to introduce a Digital Bill of Rights and treat social media giants as telecommunications companies who are forbidden by law from discriminating against people and media outlets based on their political opinions.

  35. Hell yeah i was smarter than them. Umm i havent gotten my photos back we were suppose to be safe. My life ia on there!!! Couldn't log in. I will need a file access. Wtf.

  36. Has nobody read the @wired article two weeks before facebook started the cambridge analytica cover up campaign??? It was facebook who actively influenced the US elections against Trump!
    The cover-up campaign seems to work, nobody talks about te real facebook scandal.

  37. No One Is Able To See My Posts and Photos in their News Feed….Even I'm not getting like and reacts…..what can I Do???😭😭😭please help

  38. My brother still posts there. To get knifed by people far inferior than him. The weak love Facebook….it’s cool time to time scroll and see douches

  39. CEO of Facebook says he's "sorry". really?! you say your "sorry" when you forget to do the dishes not when you leak 50 million peoples private information.

  40. Thanks alot mark for ruining our lives by not saying anything ahead of time and now with your garbage stuff that you are doing to us Facebook users and our Facebook you had no right to do this to us your the main reason and problem that were having problems with Facebook you have no right doing it now no thanks to you were having problems with our Facebook some accounts that i created with your photo identity that is not a good thing to have then you put on all that false info

  41. FACE BOOK DOWN IS THE LEAST OF OUR PROBLEMS IN THIS AGE OF TECHNOLOGY THAT MUCH OF OUR SAFETY AND SECURITY DEPENDS UPON, FACE BOOK IS A SIMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA CORPORATION (FREE) WE HAVE THE OPTION AND PRIVILEGE OF USING, BUT FACE BOOK IS SUPPOSE TO BE TECHNOLOGICALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY SKILLED ENOUGH TO HANDLE ISSUES LIKE THIS ? RIGHT? I'M CURIOUS WHAT WENT WRONG, BUT MORE CONCERNED OTHER SAFETY AND SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES ACROSS OUR COUNTRY, THAT OUR SAFETY DEPENDS ON EVER CRASHING.

  42. But when i click a like or add a friend, i always think of it as public data. Why should I be bothered every time someone wants to analize my public pieces of info. When i personally brows people on facebook, then go to their friends, i don't inform them that i do that. They know what they posted is public. Only difference is big data tries to make sense of loads of such info. Its even interesting to do such research, humanity can learn something new about itself.

  43. Facebook has a breach of trust where it collects so much data from you that it can create virtual profile of you and can manipulate you to take decisions they implant. They can accurately predict what you want, who will you vote, how is your personality. They know more than what you know of yourself without letting you know.They can see your messages too. The phrase fits well with them “if you are not paying then you are the product

  44. the guy who got caught stealing another man's idea to make himself a multi billionaire is now accused of more shady dealings and yall believe him when he appoligise for said actions after getting caught ?

  45. Facebook marketing already lets you target your audience based on their facebook data. I don't understand how did Cambridge Analytica's harvested data allowed them to do anything more sophisticated.

  46. Let’s get this straight, Americans willfully put all their information on a company website with explicit purpose to publicly share with the world, then complain when someone uses their information for their own purposes? Didn’t really think this one through, did they?

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