Culture

Facebook Is Now Estimating That Cambridge Analytica Harvested The Data Of 87 Million Users

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A week before his scheduled congressional testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11th, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook announced on Wednesday that it had nearly doubled its estimate for the number of users whose data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica. According to the New York Times, the social media company announced that it had raised its estimate up to 87 million users from the original number of 50 million, which was initially reported soon after the scandal first broke in March.

In a statement, Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer said “we want to update you on the changes we’re making to better protect your Facebook information,” adding that they “expect to make more changes over the coming months.” As for the new estimate, he continued, “we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the US — may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.”

The new total from Facebook is “part of an extended statement about its plans for handling personal data,” which includes “alerting users on April 9 about whether their information may have been shared with Cambridge Analytica.” Its release came one day after Zuckerberg, whose status as CEO as put him in further conflict with rival Apple CEO Tim Cook and others industry leaders, announced on his personal page that the company was “taking an important step to protect the integrity of elections around the world by taking down more than 270 pages and accounts operated by a Russian organization.”

(Via Wall Street Journal and New York Times)

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