Report: “Huge New Facebook Data Leak Exposed Intimate Details Of 3 Million Users”
From New Scientist:
Data from millions of Facebook users who used a popular personality app, including their answers to intimate questionnaires, was left exposed online for anyone to access, a New Scientist investigation has found.
Academics at the University of Cambridge distributed the data from the personality quiz app myPersonality to hundreds of researchers via a website with insufficient security provisions, which led to it being left vulnerable to access for four years. Gaining access illicitly was relatively easy.
The data sets were controlled by David Stillwell and Michal Kosinski at the University of Cambridge’s The Psychometrics Centre. Alexandr Kogan, at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica allegations, was previously part of the project.
Facebook suspended myPersonality from its platform on 7 April  saying the app may have violated its policies due to the language used in the app and on its website to describe how data is shared.
More than 6 million people completed the tests on the myPersonality app and nearly half agreed to share data from their Facebook profiles with the project.
myPersonality wasn’t merely an academic project; researchers from commercial companies were also entitled to access the data so long as they agreed to abide by strict data protection procedures and didn’t directly earn money from it.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.