In the wake of the scandal that has trailed Facebook concerning the misappropriate use of users’ private information, the overall figure quoted as 50million has now skyrocketed to 87 million.
The new numbers were revealed in a blog by Mike Schroepfer who also explained that the previously suggested figure of 270,000 users who had installed the This Is Your Digital Life quiz which was used to harvest the data was a hoax. The new estimate shot to 305,000 people. Moreover, about 16 million of the users are likely from other countries aside from the UK, and the U.S. Australia has begun investigations to determine its involvement in the scandal.
Facebook boos, Mark Zuckerberg, had said during a press conference that since Facebook gave provided the tools for users, it was entirely their responsibility to decide how they wish to use them but had later chewed his words to admit that he was “wrong in retrospect.” In other words, after much criticism, he has accepted that his previous opinion represented a myopic view. He understands better that if he’s providing a tool, he should take responsibility for whatever mishaps that happen. He said:
“Today, given what we know, I think we understand that we need to take a broader view of our responsibility; that we’re not just building tools, but that we need to take full responsibility for the outcomes of how people use those tools as well.”
While this case is still ongoing, Mr. Zuckerberg divulged a recent problem which an internal audit has uncovered during the investigation. A group of malicious actors abused a feature on Facebook that lets users search for people by typing their phone number of email addresses. These fraudsters were able to obtain a lot of people’s information. Mr. Zuckerberg announced further that people who had the setting turned on default have their public information accessed via that means.
Facebook has now blocked the feature.
While auditing is ongoing, more controversies continue to trail the social media giant. A spokeswoman for the UK’s Information Commissioner’s office said it would take actions depending on the amount of evidence it’s able to gather on the recent saga.
Firstly, Facebook had shifted the blame to Cambridge Analytica for going against its privacy policies. It expected the British firm to admit its wrongdoing by not deleting the information when asked to. Facebook faced intense criticism for not taking action earlier when it became known and failed to apologise to the affected users until it became public notice.
Secondly, Facebook announces much later that the previously announced figure was not wholly the fact, making it more explicit that other countries may be involved in the controversy.
Since the inception of these controversies, Facebook’s shares have continued to plummet. On April 11, Mark Zuckerberg would testify before the US House Commerce Committee.