Facebook has had a long history with privacy issues.
They have been called out many times for mishandling people’s data. Each time, Mark Zuckerberg has promised to give users more control of their information. However, Zuckerberg has continued to collect innumerable pieces of data from its users to power the tech giant.
In the past, privacy issues have popped up often. In 2007, Facebook broadcasted user activities elsewhere on the web without user permission. In 2010, Facebook sent information to advertisers that could identify consumers without consent. In 2014, they altered the news feed to show more positive/negative status updates, influencing people’s feelings.
Facebook’s most current privacy issue, and one of the largest in their history is their scandal with Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica is a data firm tied to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. They accessed information from up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.
They used the facade of a psychology quiz called This Is Your Digital Life. The creators of the app collected data from the users of the quiz as well as the user’s Facebook friends. They passed the information to Cambridge Analytica, who used the data to create detailed profiles and targeted messages to sway voters.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal has plummeted Facebook’s market value by billions of dollars. Questions came up of whether Zuckerberg would remain CEO and heightened concerns of Facebook’s impact on the society. Facebook accuses Cambridge Analytica of violating company rules. They have, of course, banned them from Facebook. Facebook continues to warn of the abuses of data rules by third-party apps such as Cambridge Analytica.
Zuckerberg has addressed the situation by taking measures such as product and policy updates.
He has gone on an apology tour, and anyone can check if the scandal affected them by clicking here .
Congressional hearings with Zuckerberg were on April 10th and 11th. It was a two-day public inquisition where Zuckerberg attempted to restore public trust in Facebook. Some topics addressed included Facebook's work with the government to understand Russian interference. In an advanced copy of his testimony, Zuckerberg recognized the importance of addressing fake news, foreign election interference, and hate speech.
He took responsibility for the scandal, and how Facebook did not take a broad enough view of their responsibility to society. For highlights from the hearings, visit here .
Facebook’s stock price had plummeted after the news of Cambridge Analytica came out. But, it has grown since then and rose during Zuckerberg’s testimony. About their future, we can expect Facebook to make a recovery from this scandal. One thing is certain - Facebook will not die from this.