Cryptocurrency And Blockchain Technology Could Help Facebook Recover From Massive Data Scandal
Emotions continue to run high as more news is disclosed around Facebook’s massive data scandal. This week, Cambridge Analytica’s former Business Development Director, Brittany Kaiser, told British lawmakers that the political data firm, Cambridge Analytica (CA), used numerous questionnaires to gather data from unknowing Facebook users.Kaiser provided a written testimony to Britain’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMSC) on Tuesday, noting, "I am aware in a general sense of a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners, usually with a Facebook login.” In particular, Kaiser highlighted one quiz called, “sex compass.”The data gathered from these quizzes are in addition to the now infamous “Thisisyourdigitallife” personality quiz - the Facebook-linked app that gained attention last month for collecting personal data from 50 million Facebook users (a figure that Facebook has now admitted could be as high as 87 million) without their consent.
Through the “Thisisyourdigitallife” app, CA member, Aleksandr Kogan, paid Facebook users in exchange for a detailed personality test, which was supposed to be used for “academic research” purposes. While it was reported that approximately 270,000 users consented to having their data collected, it was leaked last month that the app also pulled personal data from the Facebook friends of those users. That information — in the form of up to 87 million raw profiles — was then sold by the researcher to Cambridge Analytica, which used the data to manipulate Facebook users during the Trump campaign."I believe it is almost certain that the number of Facebook users whose data was compromised through routes similar to that used by Kogan is much greater than 87 million; and that both Cambridge Analytica and other unconnected companies and campaigns were involved in these activities," Kaiser added in her statement to DCMSC.
Yet due to the exploitative nature of the way in which data is used today, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this is the case.“A handful of incredibly powerful centralized companies — that are doing something so technical that people do not understand — have had the ability to wield an unknown amount of power and exploit people up until this point,” Kaiser stated in a Bustle article.In an effort to protect user data moving forward, Kaiser believes that personal data should be treated the same as property. Additionally, Kaiser notes that data should be portable, with individuals having the right to delete and move their data among various platforms.