Facebook will begin connecting with the 87 million users on Monday to inform them if their personal data was "improperly shared" with London-based political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.
Those affected by the data privacy breach will see a detailed message at the top of their news feeds. About 70 million of those affected are from the United States and more than a million each from the UK, Indonesia and the Phillipines may also have been hit. Besides those affected, over 2.2 billion Facebook users will also see a link at the top of their news feed titled “Protecting Your Information”. The message will be accompanied by a link “so they can see what apps they use and the information they have shared".
The social media giant claims it does not know how Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research harvested the users’ data because the firms are not its downstream affiliates and may have made independent decisions regarding the data they obtained. The company said that the actions of the two firms were not authorised and breached their policies.
While the location of those affected has been identified, nonetheless Zuckerberg’s social network affirmed that the location was "not an indication of voter registration, nationality or citizenship and may not, in some cases, indicate actual place of residence". A company spokesperson in a statement last week said Facebook would “continue to investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform in 2014 to reduce data access and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity."
After facing mammoth controversy over its users' data breach, the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who is expected to testify before Congress on Wednesday, acknowledged that he made a “huge mistake” in failing to take a broad enough view of the company’s responsibilities.
For those uninitiated, the app, developed by University of Cambridge psychology researcher Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research, pulled out data from users.
Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg meeting will testify in the US Senate on Tuesday ahead of hearing before US Congress scheduled for Wednesday.